With today’s technical possibilities, a stable visualization scenario can no longer be assumed as a matter of course, as underlying data and targeted display setup are much more in flux than in traditional scenarios. Incremental visualization approaches are a means to address this challenge, as they permit the user to interact with, steer, and change the visualization at intermediate time points and not just after it has been completed. In this paper, we put forward a model for incremental visualizations that is based on the established Data State Reference Model, but extends it in ways to also represent partitioned data and visualization operators to facilitate intermediate visualization updates. In combination, partitioned data and operators can be used independently and in combination to strike tailored compromises between output quality, shown data quantity, and responsiveness—i.e., frame rates. We showcase the new expressive power of this model by discussing the opportunities and challenges of incremental visualization in general and its usage in a real world scenario in particular.
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