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Volume: 30 | Article ID: art00002
Visualization of Complex Familial and Social Structures
  DOI :  10.2352/ISSN.2470-1173.2018.01.VDA-314  Published OnlineJanuary 2018

Visualizations are widely used when working with family and genealogical structures, both to navigate through the generations and to provide overview information about the family as a whole. Our research investigates the concept of "marriage" in the complex and polygamous familial structures of Mormon society in mid-1800s Nauvoo, IL, including several definitions of marital and relational ties. We have found current visualizations to be insufficient in fully expressing this complexity. We present visualizations based on chord and flow diagrams to capture the locality and cohesiveness of larger and more complex family units and encapsulate familial dynamics into the nodes of their overall lineage. Each family unit is portrayed as a chord diagram adapted to display intra-familial relationships with a left-to-right generational flow and chords indicating relationships between participants. Zooming out, we depict the overall lineage as a modified flow diagram with the family units as nodes, connected with others based on the participants; each hyper-edge links an individual's family of birth to her adult marriage.<br/> Our implementation has yielded evocative and provocative visualizations–preserving locality of family unit members, an overall temporal order on their display, and distinguishability of relational types–by which scholars can investigate these complex social structure.

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John R. Hott, Worthy N. Martin, Kathleen Flake, "Visualization of Complex Familial and Social Structuresin Proc. IS&T Int’l. Symp. on Electronic Imaging: Visualization and Data Analysis,  2018,  pp 314-1 - 314-9,

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