Document Type


Publication Date



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

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Archived as published.

Distibution A. The Lincoln Laboratory portion of this work was sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering under Air Force Contract #FA8721-05-C-0002. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.