Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Visualizing algorithms

Mike Bostok wrote an interesting post about visualizing algorithms back in 2014. Here's the opening paragraphs:
Algorithms are a fascinating use case for visualization. To visualize an algorithm, we don’t merely fit data to a chart; there is no primary dataset. Instead there are logical rules that describe behavior. This may be why algorithm visualizations are so unusual, as designers experiment with novel forms to better communicate. This is reason enough to study them.

But algorithms are also a reminder that visualization is more than a tool for finding patterns in data. Visualization leverages the human visual system to augment human intellect: we can use it to better understand these important abstract processes, and perhaps other things, too.
Even if you have no particular interest in the algorithms, it's worth your time to spend a few minutes looking at some of the visualizations.

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