Improving argumentation visualization of multi-stakeholder development processes – a prototyping case

Publishing year: 2018
ISBN 978-3-7983-2994-2

A shared understanding of development argumentation is crucial for a wide range of development processes (such as requirements engineering, change management, eGovernment and eParticipation, public policy) and central to prevent the failure of IT and development projects. Computer-Supported Argumentation Visualization (CSAV) has been used to model and represent discourse information for about 35 years. Although modelling tools have significantly matured and continue to evolve, the visual representation of existing tools does not scale ideally with increasing model complexity. For large-scale argumentation models, existing visualization approaches from argumentation visualization are reported as being too complex for target stakeholders. This prevents them from gaining insights into the development process and may ultimately contribute to the rejection of the development result, causing severe costs for both public and private organizations. In this paper, we employ the ‘design science’ methodology to incrementally develop two interactive visual representations for argumentation visualization, incorporating best practices from information visualization research. The prototypes are implemented and evaluated in the setting of the project “Research Core Dataset”, a nation-wide project involving all major stakeholder groups of the German science system in order to develop harmonized definitions for research information. In our evaluation, both of the visual representations developed are perceived as being much better at providing insights into complex development processes with a high number of stakeholders.