InfoVis Paper Types

The IEEE Information Visualization (InfoVis) conference solicits original research papers on a diverse set of topics related to information visualization. Papers may contribute new or improved visual encoding or interaction techniques; evaluations of techniques and tools; models or theories related to visualization; systems that support visual data analysis; and the application of visualization to a broad range of real-world contexts and domains.


Research contributions are welcomed across a range of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Visual encoding and interactive visualization techniques for a broad range of data types, such as: causality and uncertainty data; graphs (networks), trees (hierarchies), and other relational data; heterogeneous data; high-dimensional and multivariate data; non-numeric data (categorical data, nominal data, etc.); streaming or time-varying data; text and documents; time-series & temporal event data; geospatial data.
  • Interaction techniques for supporting the data analysis process, such as: focus + context and overview + detail methods; zooming, navigation, and distortion techniques; brushing and linking; coordinated multiple views; data labeling, editing, and annotation
  • Visualization using different modalities and devices, such as: mobile and ubiquitous devices; large displays; post-WIMP interactions (pen, touch, speech, gestures, mixed reality, etc.); immersive environments; augmented reality; physicalization.
  • Visualization fundamentals and methodologies, such as: cognition and perception; visual design and aesthetics; taxonomies and models; research methods, methodologies, and frameworks; task and requirements analysis; metrics and benchmarks; broad range of evaluation approaches that include quantitative, qualitative, and replication studies; novel algorithms; ethical considerations.
  • Application of visualization to a variety of contexts, such as: provenance tracking; storytelling; education and teaching; visualization toolkit design; very large data; non-expert audiences; personal and social; specific application domains like biology, sports, digital humanities, finance, etc; visual data mining and visual knowledge discovery; museums and public environments; situated visualization.

Paper Types

VIS papers often fall into one or many of five main categories: technique & algorithm, system, application & design study, empirical study, or theory & model. Although your main paper type has to be specified during the paper submission process, papers can include elements of more than one of these categories.

Paper Type: Technique & Algorithm

A technique paper introduces a novel technique or algorithm that has not previously appeared in the literature, or that significantly extends known techniques or algorithms. The technique or algorithm description provided in the paper should be complete enough that a competent graduate student in visualization could implement the work, and the authors should create a prototype implementation of the methods. This technique should ideally be of general application rather than being restricted to a single task or single source of data, and the exposition should be focused on what the technique does, how it does it, the tasks and datasets for which this new method is appropriate, and what the computational and other costs are. Evaluation is likely to strengthen technique papers.


  • Bach, B., Shi, C., Heulot, N., Madhyastha, T., Grabowski, T., & Dragicevic, P. (2016). Time curves: Folding time to visualize patterns of temporal evolution in data. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 22(1).
  • Kieffer, S., Dwyer, T., Marriott, K., & Wybrow, M. (2016). HOLA: Human-like orthogonal network layout. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 22(1).
  • Lins, L., Klosowski, J. T., & Scheidegger, C. (2013). Nanocubes for real-time exploration of spatiotemporal datasets. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 19(12).
  • Gratzl, S., Lex, A., Gehlenborg, N., Pfister, H., & Streit, M. (2013). Lineup: Visual analysis of multi-attribute rankings. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 19(12).

Paper Type: System

A system paper describes a solution to a problem where the major task is building a large complex software artifact, applying largely known visualization techniques. The system that is described is both novel and important, and has been implemented. Here, the focus should be on the design decisions, the implications for software / hardware structure, and comparison with other systems. The comparison includes specific discussion of how the described system differs from and is, in some significant respects, superior to those systems.


  • Le Goc, M., Perin, C., Follmer, S., Fekete, J.-D., & Dragicevic, P. (2019). Dynamic composite data physicalization using wheeled micro-robots. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 25(1).
  • Ren, D., Lee, B., & Brehmer, M. (2019). Charticulator: Interactive Construction of Bespoke Chart Layouts. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 25(1).
  • Satyanarayan, A., Moritz, D., Wongsuphasawat, K., & Heer, J. (2017). Vega-lite: A grammar of interactive graphics. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 23(1).

Paper Type: Application & Design Study

An application or design study paper explores the choices made when applying visualization techniques in an application area, for example relating the visual encodings and interaction techniques to the requirements of the target task. These papers typically include an encapsulated description of a problem domain and the questions to be resolved by visualization, then describe the application of visualization to the task, any novel techniques developed, and how the visualization solution answered the questions posed. The results of the study, including insights generated in the application domain and visualization knowledge generated through the research process, should be clearly conveyed. The work will be judged by the design lessons learned or insights gleaned for visualization research – which may or may not include novel visualization techniques, algorithms, or systems – on which future contributors can build. We invite submissions on any application area.


  • Zhang, Y., Chanana, K., & Dunne, C. (2019). IDMVis: Temporal Event Sequence Visualization for Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Decision Support. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 25(1).
  • Nobre, C., Gehlenborg, N., Coon, H., & Lex, A. (2018). Lineage: Visualizing multivariate clinical data in genealogy graphs. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 25(3).
  • Brehmer, M., Ingram, S., Stray, J., & Munzner, T. (2014). Overview: The design, adoption, and analysis of a visual document mining tool for investigative journalists. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 20(12).

Paper Type: Empirical Study

An empirical study paper explores the usage of visualization by people, and presents a study, either qualitative or quantitative, of visualization techniques or systems. The research contribution will be judged on the validity and importance of the results, including where appropriate, the definition of hypotheses, tasks, data sets, the rigorous collection and examination/analysis/coding of data, the selection of subjects and cases, as well as validation, discussion and conclusions.


  • Jardine, N., Ondov, B., Elmqvist, N., & Franconeri, S. (2020). The Perceptual Proxies of Visual Comparison. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 26(1).
  • Lam, H., Tory, M., & Munzner, T. (2018). Bridging from goals to tasks with design study analysis reports. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 24(1).
  • Hinrichs, U., Forlini, S., & Moynihan, B. (2016). Speculative practices: Utilizing infovis to explore untapped literary collections. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 22(1).
  • Kay, M., & Heer, J. (2016). Beyond Weber’s law: A second look at ranking visualizations of correlation. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 22(1).

Paper Type: Theory & Model

A theory or model paper presents new interpretations of the foundational theory of visualization, including models, typologies or taxonomies of the design, development, evaluation, or use of visualization in particular contexts. These papers do not require implementation, but contribute by illuminating how visualization techniques complement and exploit properties of human vision and cognition, as well as how researchers conduct effective and rigorous visualization studies.


  • Dimara, E., Perin, C. (2020). What is Interaction for Data Visualization? IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 26(1).
  • Moritz, D., Wang, C., Nelson, G. L., Lin, H., Smith, A. M., Howe, B., & Heer, J. (2019). Formalizing visualization design knowledge as constraints: actionable and extensible models in Draco. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 25(1).
  • Sarikaya, A., Correll, M., Bartram, L., Tory, M., & Fisher, D. (2019). What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Dashboards?. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 25(1).
  • Gleicher, M. (2018). Considerations for visualizing comparison. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 24(1).

Paper Chairs

  • Miriah Meyer, University of Utah
  • Nathalie Henry Riche, Microsoft Research
  • Jo Wood, City, University of London
  • Niklas Elmqvist, University of Maryland, College Park