Archive August 2014

PNNL Collaboration

pnnlAshley Wheat recently made a visit to the Information Visualisation and Visual Analytics team at Pacific Northwestern National Laboratories (PNNL) in Tri-Cities, WA. He presented a seminar on his research in Understanding External Sensemaking in Intelligence Analysis. Ashley was also able to spend time with the researchers and developers at PNNL responsible for visual analytics tools such as IN-SPIRE, Scalable Reasoning System (SRS) and LiveWall.

VAST Challenge 2014

Two teams from IDC submitted entries to the 2014 VAST Challenge. In response to Mini-Challenge 2, a team led by Simon Attfield collaborated with a team at MASS Consultants Ltd. led by Dr. Adrian Wagstaff and James Bulloch to create a suite of visualisation tools which they used to analyse GPS and financial transaction data of employees working for a fictional company. The task was to characterise regular and unusual behaviours. The work culminated in an ‘Analyst’s Day’ in which IDC staff worked on the problem with a group of ex-military intelligence analysts at MASS’s training facility. Another team led by Kai Xu, together with Bob Fields and Phong Nguyen, addressed the mini-challenge 3, whose goal is to provide real-time situation awareness using Twitter-like data for a fictitious kidnaping case. A visual analytics tool, SAVI (Social Analytics Visualisation), was developed to provide text analysis and geo-temporal visualisation. Findings from SAVI were further analysed in SenseMap, a sense making tool developed by the same team, for hypothesis and narrative generation. Both teams were awarded ‘honourable mention’ by the VAST Challenge Committee. They will present their solutions at the IEEE VIS2014 conference in Paris in November.


In July Ashley Wheat and Pragya Paudyal were invited to attend CANVAS 2014 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The Canadian Visual Analytics Summer School aims to “bring together students, researchers, faculty and industry to advance he science and technology of Visual Analytics in Canada”. Over three days Ashley and Pragya attended keynotes and presentations from established names in Visual Analytics, as well as attending demonstrations and workshops of leading VA solutions