Shahid Latif

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

Shahid Latif

S-GW 313
+49 201 183 4654
Universität Duisburg-Essen
Gerlingstraße 16
45127 Essen, Germany

Zur Person:

I am pursuing PhD in the field of Visualization. I hold a Master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. 


My research areas include visualizing spatio-temporal data, geographic visualizations, and coherent integration of text and visualizations in the form of interactive web documents. Recently, I am working on creating adaptable and interactive data reports by combining the visual analytics systems with automatically generated natural language text. 


  • Agarwal, Shivam; Latif, Shahid; Beck, Fabian: How Visualization PhD Students Cope with Paper Rejections. In: Celebrating the Scientific Value of Failure (FailFest) Workshop at IEEE VIS (to appear). 2020. PDFBIB DownloadDetails
    How Visualization PhD Students Cope with Paper Rejections

    We conducted a questionnaire study aimed towards PhD students in the field of visualization research to understand how they cope with paper rejections. We collected responses from 24 participants and performed a qualitative analysis of the data in relation to the provided support by collaborators, resubmission strategies, handling multiple rejects, and personal impression of the reviews. The results indicate that the PhD students in the visualization community generally cope well with the negative reviews and, with experience, learn how to act accordingly to improve and resubmit their work. Our results reveal the main coping strategies that can be applied for constructively handling rejected visualization papers. The most prominent strategies include: discussing reviews with collaborators and making a resubmission plan, doing a major revision to improve the work, shortening the work, and seeing rejection as a positive learning experience.

  • Mumtaz, Haris; Latif, Shahid; Beck, Fabian; Weiskopf, Daniel: Exploranative Code Quality Documents. In: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Jg. 26 (2020) Nr. 1, S. 1129-1139. doi: 10.1109/TVCG.2019.2934669PDFBIB DownloadDetails
    Exploranative Code Quality Documents

    Good code quality is a prerequisite for efficiently developing maintainable software. In this paper, we present a novel approach to generate exploranative (explanatory and exploratory) data-driven documents that report code quality in an interactive, exploratory environment. We employ a template-based natural language generation method to create textual explanations about the code quality, dependent on data from software metrics. The interactive document is enriched by different kinds of visualization, including parallel coordinates plots and scatterplots for data exploration and graphics embedded into text. We devise an interaction model that allows users to explore code quality with consistent linking between text and visualizations; through integrated explanatory text, users are taught background knowledge about code quality aspects. Our approach to interactive documents was developed in a design study process that included software engineering and visual analytics experts. Although the solution is specific to the software engineering scenario, we discuss how the concept could generalize to multivariate data and report lessons learned in a broader scope. 

  • Latif, Shahid; Su, Kaidie; Beck, Fabian: Authoring Combined Textual and Visual Descriptions of Graph Data. In: EuroVis 2019 - Short Papers. The Eurographics Association, 2019. doi:10.2312/evs.20191180PDFBIB DownloadDetails
    Authoring Combined Textual and Visual Descriptions of Graph Data

    The interactive linking of text and visualizations supports easy and guided exploration of information and results in a coherent
    document. Authoring such documents for the web requires writing custom HTML and JavaScript. Existing research aims at
    reducing the effort by providing a declarative syntax. However, these approaches either do not support the interactive linking
    of text and visualizations or require advance programming skills to establish this linking. Targeting a specific type of data i.e.,
    graph data, we introduce an approach that uses a declarative syntax to produce interactive documents and requires little to no
    programming. Based on the user specifications in an HTML file, the system queries the database to retrieve subgraphs and link
    them to the relevant text fragments. The resulting document consists of a node-link diagram and text; the two representations
    are closely linked via interactions and word-sized graphics, and provide an active reading experience.

  • Latif, Shahid; Beck, Fabian: Interactive Map Reports Summarizing Bivariate Geographic Data. In: Visual Informatics, Jg. 3 (2019) Nr. 1, S. 27-37. doi:10.1016/j.visinf.2019.03.004PDFBIB DownloadDetails
    Interactive Map Reports Summarizing Bivariate Geographic Data

    Bivariate map visualizations use different encodings to visualize two variables but comparison across multiple encodings is challenging. Compared to a univariate visualization, it is significantly harder to read regional differences and spot geographical outliers. Especially targeting inexperienced users of visualizations, we advocate the use of natural language text for augmenting map visualizations and understanding the relationship between two geo-statistical variables. We propose an approach that selects interesting findings from data analysis, generates a respective text and visualization, and integrates both into a single document. The generated reports interactively link the visualization with the textual narrative. Users can get additional explanations and have the ability to compare different regions. The text generation process is flexible and adapts to various geographical and contextual settings based on small sets of parameters. We showcase this flexibility through a number of application examples.

  • Latif, Shahid; Beck, Fabian: VIS Author Profiles: Interactive Descriptions of Publication Records Combining Text and Visualization. In: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Jg. 25 (2019) Nr. 1, S. 152-161. doi:10.1109/TVCG.2018.2865022PDFBIB DownloadDetails
    VIS Author Profiles: Interactive Descriptions of Publication Records Combining Text and Visualization

    Publication records and collaboration networks are important for assessing the expertise and experience of researchers. Existing digital libraries show the raw publication lists in author profiles, whereas visualization techniques focus on specific subproblems. Instead, we look at publication records from various perspectives mixing low-level publication data with high-level abstractions and background information. This work presents VIS Author Profiles, a novel approach to generate integrated textual and visual descriptions to highlight patterns in publication records. We leverage template-based natural language generation to summarize notable publication statistics, evolution of research topics, and collaboration relationships. Seamlessly integrated visualizations augment the textual description and are interactively connected with each other and the text. The underlying publication data and detailed explanations of the analysis are available on demand. We compare our approach to existing systems by taking into account information needs of users and demonstrate its usefulness in two realistic application examples.

  • Latif, Shahid; Beck, Fabian: Visually Augmenting Documents With Data. In: Computing in Science & Engineering (2018), S. 96-103. doi:10.1109/MCSE.2018.2875316PDFBIB DownloadDetails
    Visually Augmenting Documents With Data

    “A picture is worth a thousand words” is a famous English saying. It is true in many cases, because a complex idea or data can be simply conveyed through the use of a single static image or diagram. Therefore, inclusion of graphics and visualizations in scientific texts has been an important aspect ever since researchers started publishing articles. Conventional writing styles allow researchers to provide images, graphs, and tables to enhance the readability and understandability of the text, but usually, these large-scale images need to be placed at a slightly different location from the relevant text, either on the same page or on the next pages. This far-off placement of graphics forces readers to switch their attention between text and graphics, which can cause a split-attention effect, thereby increasing the cognitive effort to comprehend the information.

  • Latif, Shahid; Liu, Diao; Beck, Fabian: Exploring Interactive Linking Between Text and Visualization. In: EuroVis 2018 - Short Papers. 2018, S. 91-94. doi:10.2312/eurovisshort.20181084PDFBIB DownloadDetails
    Exploring Interactive Linking Between Text and Visualization

    Visualizations are included in documents as augmentation to text and they become more intuitive if readers have the ability to interact with them. Modern web technologies facilitate the development of interactive documents including both text and visualizations. The aim of this research it to explore the design space of possible visualization–text linking and interactions based on various triggers such as mouse events. We describe a framework that takes text containing markup, a related dataset, and a configuration file as inputs and produces an interactive document. The resulting document provides interactions such as details on demand, visual highlighting and comparison, and bushing-and-linking. In addition to regular sized graphics, the use of word-sized graphics or sparklines presents related content in view-focus of the reader. Finally, an illustrative example is presented to showcase the approach.