Time Lattice: A Data Structure for the Interactive Visual Analysis of Large Time Series

Fabio Miranda, Marcos Lage, Harish Doraiswamy, Charlie Mydlarz, Justin Salamon, Yitzchak Lockerman, Juliana Freire, Claudio T. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advances in technology coupled with the availability of low-cost sensors have resulted in the continuous generation of large time series from several sources. In order to visually explore and compare these time series at different scales, analysts need to execute online analytical processing (OLAP) queries that include constraints and group-by's at multiple temporal hierarchies. Effective visual analysis requires these queries to be interactive. However, while existing OLAP cube-based structures can support interactive query rates, the exponential memory requirement to materialize the data cube is often unsuitable for large data sets. Moreover, none of the recent space-efficient cube data structures allow for updates. Thus, the cube must be re-computed whenever there is new data, making them impractical in a streaming scenario. We propose Time Lattice, a memory-efficient data structure that makes use of the implicit temporal hierarchy to enable interactive OLAP queries over large time series. Time Lattice is a subset of a fully materialized cube and is designed to handle fast updates and streaming data. We perform an experimental evaluation which shows that the space efficiency of the data structure does not hamper its performance when compared to the state of the art. In collaboration with signal processing and acoustics research scientists, we use the Time Lattice data structure to design the Noise Profiler, a web-based visualization framework that supports the analysis of noise from cities. We demonstrate the utility of Noise Profiler through a set of case studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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