VAST Challenge 2016

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Return to Kronos

The Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST) Challenge is an annual contest with the goal of advancing the field of visual analytics through competition. The VAST Challenge is designed to help researchers understand how their software would be used in a novel analytic task and determine if their data transformations, visualizations, and interactions would be beneficial for particular analytic tasks. VAST Challenge problems provide researchers with realistic tasks and data sets for evaluating their software, as well as an opportunity to advance the field by solving more complex problems.

Researchers and software providers have repeatedly used the data sets from throughout the life of the VAST Challenge as benchmarks to demonstrate and test the capabilities of their systems. The ground truth embedded in the data sets has helped researchers evaluate and strengthen the utility of their visualizations.

This year’s VAST Challenge returns to the island of Kronos for three mini-challenges to test the skills of designers and visual analytics groups alike.

These challenges are open to participation by individuals and teams in industry, government, and academia. We encourage your submissions and look forward to seeing your innovative approaches to solving these challenges using visual analytics.

The Challenges

Note: This scenario and all the people, places, groups, technologies, contained therein are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, places, groups, or technologies is purely coincidental.

Mini-Challenge 1

The Euybia Island Resort and Conference Center is a busy convention resort hotel and casino off the coast of Kronos. You are a designer specializing in visual analytics and human-computer interaction. Euybia Island has hired you to design an innovative interactive visual interface that enables their facility’s security investigators to conduct real-time analysis of streaming data. Successful designs will provide investigators with the ability to understand current situations as they evolve, look at past data that puts current data in context, and anticipate what might happen next. It will also allow investigators to reconsider recent data in light of new events.

Mini-Challenge 2 and 3

After the successful resolution of the 2014 kidnapping at GAStech’s Abila, Kronos office, GAStech officials determined that Abila offices needed a significant upgrade. In 2015, the growing company moved into a state-of-the-art three-story building near their previous location. The new office is built to the highest energy efficiency standards, and it is fully instrumented with sensors that identify everything from building temperatures to concentration levels of various chemicals.

GAStech has recently introduced new security processes. Staff members are now required to wear proximity (prox) cards while in the building, so that incidents like the 2014 kidnapping cannot occur again.

As an expert in visual analytics, you have been hired to help GAStech understand its steady stream of operations data. This includes data from stationary and mobile sensors of multiple types. The company needs your help in operational issues as well as security issues. Can you identify the issues to safeguard the company’s employees?

Mini-Challenge 2 asks you to analyze two weeks of building sensor data to identify patterns of concern. 

Mini-Challenge 3 poses a streaming analysis challenge. You will be given access to two days of streaming building sensor data. How can you identify important changes in the stream in real time? How can you quickly come up to speed on changes in the data since you last looked at it? What sensor would you add in order to better understand the suspicious events?

Projects (1)