VAST Challenge 2017 Submission Instructions


All entries must be submitted by July 16, 2017, by 11:59pm PDT.

Participants are permitted to submit multiple entries, but each entry must contain the complete set of required materials as specified below.

If problems are detected with your entry (such as exceeding word, image, or video limits), the primary point of contact for the entry will be contacted to rectify the entry. These changes must be received no later than July 18. If the entry is not received by this time or the detected problems have not been rectified then the entry will not be accepted for the Challenge.

Required Materials

Your completed submission package is due on July 16, 2017. Your submission package consists of a completed summary form and a four-minute video showing your visual analytics software in operation.

Please complete the summary form as follows:
  1. Rename the summary form file to “index.htm”. Make sure to leave the form in “.htm” format. Use Microsoft Word or other word processor to edit the form.
  2. Name your entry using a composite of your team’s organization, primary contact's last name, and the challenge you are entering. For example, for a submission from the University of Maryland for Mini-Challenge 2, from a team led by Dr. Jones, please use UMD-Jones-MC2. If you are submitting multiple entries, please add a number to the end of the file name (e.g. UMD-Jones-MC2-1).
  3. Provide a list of team members, their affiliation, and email addresses. Designate one team member as the Primary Contact. The primary contact must be able to respond to questions and communications related to the submission.
  4. Indicate if this is a student team. A student team is defined as one led by a student and worked on by students. Class projects are good examples of submissions that would be provided by student teams.
  5. Provide a list of analytic tools used in developing your solution. Commercially available tools like Tableau or SAS can be mentioned by name. For tools not commercially available, please provide a tool name, developer name (or a company name), and any links to the tool that can provide us more information about it. For tools developed by the submitting team, additional information such as where it was developed (e.g., "SPINVIZ was developed by the University of West Birmingham CS 459 Information Visualization class, taught Spring 2011 by Dr. Smith, and adapted by the student team for the challenge.")
  6. Provide an estimate of the number of hours spent by the entire team working on this submission.
  7. Indicate whether you give your permission for your submission to be posted in the publicly accessible Visual Analytics Benchmark Repository.
  8. Provide your explanatory video with voice narration. Participants are required to include a video of no more than four minutes in length. This video is your chance to fully explain your entry. The video should be in .wmv format. If size permits, include this video in your electronic submission package. If not, post it on the internet and provide a link. Verify the link is active throughout the contest period, as it may be downloaded at various times by different VAST Challenge Committee members and reviewers. If you do not have a site on which you can post your video, please contact vast-challenge@ieeevis.org to discuss other approaches. The following tips may be helpful in creating your video:
      • Provide a clear explanation how the visual analytics software you developed or used helped you analyze the data.
      • Give a clear explanation of your starting point for analysis and how you selected it
      • Explain your rationale for important design decisions.
      • Explain how the visualization and interactions helped in the analysis.
      • If filters or transformations are applied, explain what was used and in what sequence they were applied.
      • If there are anomalies shown in a visualization, explain how they are factored into the analysis.
      • Give a careful definition of terms used such as “uncertainty.”
      • Describe any important assumptions you made.
  9. Answer the specific questions for this mini-challenge. These questions appear in the submission form.

Packaging and Submitting Your Entry
  1. Rename the summary form to "index.htm" and save it on your local computer. Use this form to provide your answers either by adding text to the form itself or by linking to the separate files you need to provide.
  2. Create a folder on your computer with the same name as your entry name. Save the completed answer form (index.htm), your design image, your optional video and storyboards, and your other images in this folder as well. The index.htm file should contain link to all your materials. Use relative links so they will still work when your materials are moved to another folder.
  3. Zip the entire directory and save it in a file using the same entry name, for example, UMD-Jones-MC2.zip. If your zip file is greater than 50 MB in size, please post your video or other large materials on the internet instead of including it in your zip file. The submission system can only accept files smaller than 50 MB.
  4. IEEE VAST Challenge 2017 uses the Precision Conference System (PCS) to handle the submission and reviewing process. PCS is available at https://precisionconference.com/~vgtc/. If you do not already have a login for the system, you must register first. Once you are logged into your account, please choose VAST 2017 Challenge under “new submissions” and follow the instructions.

Optional Two-Page Summaries

Participants may publish two page summaries of their submission in the Conference Proceedings. These summaries allow the contestant to give a general overview of their approach and tools, highlight novel features, provide references to papers and other relevant work and describe any new discoveries made while working through the Challenge problem.

The two-page summary must be formatted according to the IEEE VGTC Guidelines. They are submitted separately from your entry. They are due on August 15, 2017. (NOTE: as of 3-14-2017, at the top of the Prep Guidelines on the VGTC site, it states an August 8 due date. We have extended this to August 15.)

Optional Poster

Participants may present a poster describing their submission during the workshop and (we expect) during the conference days. The posters will allow contestants to explain their work more fully to a live audience. Posters encourage explorations of new, related ideas with other conference attendees and may result in linkages to collaborators for follow on efforts. NOTE: We have also had special poster viewing activities during the VAST Challenge Workshop in previous years.

The poster must follow VIS size guidelines ("The posters themselves have no predefined formatting, but dimensions may not exceed A0 paper size (841mm x 1189mm / 33.1” x 46.8”). ONLY PORTRAIT FORMAT IS ACCEPTABLE.") There is no separate paper or video associated with the VAST Challenge poster. Please let us know if you will be bringing a poster by August 15. Send us an image of your poster (.jpg) by September 22.

Page last modified on Monday, March 27, 2017