COMP5048:  Information Visualisation S2/2009


Thursday 3-5pm, SIT Lab 117

Unit coordinator:

Associate Professor Seok-Hee Hong


Professor Peter Eades (Lecturer in charge)

Associate Professor Seok-Hee Hong

Dr. Tony Huang



peter at


22, October: New schedule is up due to a group change

19, October: Schedule for presentations is up.

16, October: Lecture notes for Weeks 10 and 11 uploaded

17, September: Lecture notes for Weeks 7 and 8 uploaded

31, August:  Lecture notes for Weeks 4 and 5 uploaded

28, August:  Schedule for lectures and VA assignment has been updated

17, August:  Lecture notes for week 3 and details on System assignment uploaded


Unit Specification

Information Visualisation aims to make good pictures of abstract information, such as stock prices, family trees, and software design diagrams. Well designed pictures can convey this information rapidly and effectively. The research challenge for Information Visualisation is to design and implement new algorithms that produce such pictures.

Applications include visualisation of biological data, social networks, and software systems.

This unit provides basic concepts, techniques and fundamental algorithms to create good visualisations of abstract information. Further, it also provides opportunities for academic research and developing new methods for information visualisation.

Assumed Knowledge

It is assumed that students have basic knowledge of data structures, as well as programming skills.

USYD Policies

You are required to carefully read the USYD policies on Academic Honesty, Special Consideration due to illness and misadventure, and Late Submissions.

Lecture Timetable (subject to change)


 Week Date Topic Lecturer Comments
1 Thursday, 30 July 2009 Introduction Peter Nice pictures; course organisation
2 Thursday, 6 August 2009 Trees Peter Reingold-Tilford; radial; HV; tip-over
3 Thursday, 13 August 2009 Force directed Peter Springs; MDS; eigenvectors
4 Thursday, 20 August 2009 Layered graphs Peter Layering; feedback arc set; crossings
5 Thursday, 27 August 2009 Layered graphs Peter Crossings; edge straightening
6 Thursday, 3 September 2009 Planarity (homework) Peter Planarity algorithm; planarisation; graph theory
7 Thursday, 10 September 2009 Network analysis 1 Seok-Hee Network analysis
8 Thursday, 17 September 2009 Network analysis 2 Seok-Hee Visual analytics
9 Thursday, 24 September 2009 Student presentations on VA Tony  
  Thursday, 1 October 2009 Mid-term break    
10 Thursday, 8 October 2009 Psychology 1 Tony Visual perception and cognition models;

intro to evaluation methods

11 Thursday, 15 October 2009 Psychology 2 Tony Experiment design and analysis;

several experiments examples

12 Thursday, 22 October 2009 Student presentations on SA and CA Tony  
13 Thursday, 29 October 2009 Theory exam  Peter  



1: Assessment schedule

2: Group visualization assignment (VA): report due Sept 17.

GD09 contest data

3: Critical participation (CA): in Oct 22.

4: System assignment (SA)

5: Theory exam (TA): Oct 29 in class.


Previous course offerings