Growing Squares: Animated Visualization of Causal Relations
We present a novel information visualization technique for the graphical representation of causal relations, that is based on the metaphor of color pools spreading over time on a piece of paper. Messages between processes in the system affect the colors of their respective pool, making it possible to quickly see the influences each process has received. This technique, called Growing Squares, has been evaluated in a comparative user study and shown to be significantly faster and more efficient for sparse data sets than the traditional Hasse diagram visualization. Growing Squares were also more efficient for large data sets, but not significantly so. Test subjects clearly favored Growing Squares over old methods, naming the new technique easier, more efficient, and much more enjoyable to use.