A fictitious amusement park and a larger-than-life hometown football hero provided participants in the VAST Challenge 2015 with an engaging yet complex storyline and setting in which to analyze movement and communication patterns. The datasets for the 2015 challenge were large—averaging nearly 10 million records per day over a three day period—with a simple straightforward structured format. The simplicity of the format belied a complex wealth of features contained in the data that needed to be discovered and understood to solve the tasks and questions that were posed. Two Mini-Challenges and a Grand Challenge compose the 2015 competition. Mini-Challenge 1 contained structured location and date-time data for park visitors, against which participants were to discern groups and their activities. MiniChallenge 2 contained structured communication data consisting of metadata about time-stamped text messages sent between park visitors. The Grand Challenge required participants to use both movement and communication data to hypothesize when a crime was committed and identify the most likely suspects from all the park visitors. The VAST Challenge 2015 received 74 submissions, and the datasets were downloaded, at least partially, from 26 countries.
Visual Analytics, Human Information Interaction, Sense Making, Movement Analysis, Evaluation, Contest
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Whiting, Mark; Cook, Kristin; Grinstein, Georges; Fallon, John; Liggett, Kristen; Staheli, Diane; and Crouser, R. Jordan, "VAST Challenge 2015: Mayhem at Dinofun World" (2015). Computer Science: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.