Exploratory Search in Time-Oriented Primary Data
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In a variety of research fields, primary data that describes scientific phenomena in an original condition is obtained. Time-oriented primary data, in particular, is an indispensable data type, derived from complex measurements depending on time. Today, time-oriented primary data is collected at rates that exceed the domain experts’ abilities to seek valuable information undiscovered in the data. It is widely accepted that the magnitudes of uninvestigated data will disclose tremendous knowledge in data-driven research, provided that domain experts are able to gain insight into the data. Domain experts involved in data-driven research urgently require analytical capabilities. In scientific practice, predominant activities are the generation and validation of hypotheses. In analytical terms, these activities are often expressed in confirmatory and exploratory data analysis. Ideally, analytical support would combine the strengths of both types of activities. Exploratory search (ES) is a concept that seamlessly includes information-seeking behaviors ranging from search to exploration. ES supports domain experts in both gaining an understanding of huge and potentially unknown data collections and the drill-down to relevant subsets, e.g., to validate hypotheses. As such, ES combines predominant tasks of domain experts applied to data-driven research. For the design of useful and usable ES systems (ESS), data scientists have to incorporate different sources of knowledge and technology. Of particular importance is the state-of-the-art in interactive data visualization and data analysis. Research in these factors is at heart of Information Visualization (IV) and Visual Analytics (VA). Approaches in IV and VA provide meaningful visualization and interaction designs, allowing domain experts to perform the information-seeking process in an effective and efficient way. Today, bestpractice ESS almost exclusively exist for textual data content, e.g., put into practice in digital libraries to facilitate the reuse of digital documents. For time-oriented primary data, ES mainly remains at a theoretical state.