SIG on Visualization Grammars at CHI '21

A Special Interest Group at ACM CHI 2021. Tue, May 11 13:00 - 15:00 EDT. Link to Program.


Visualization grammars, often based on the Grammar of Graphics, are popular choices for specifying expressive visualizations and supporting visualization systems. However, there are still open questions about grammar design and evaluation not well-answered in visualization research.

In this SIG, we will discuss what makes a grammar “good” and explore evaluation methodologies best suited for visualization grammars.

For participants

We welcome researchers, students, and practitioners with different levels of experience in visualization grammars. Even if you may not have experience developing a visualization grammar, you can have created visualizations or have domain expertise in data work and evaluation methods.

What to expect

Interactive panel and breakout discussions. Detailed schedule coming soon here.

Our panelists

Matthew Kay (Moderator)

Leland Wilkinson

GG algebra is based on the algebra underlying statistical models that dates back to the founders of modern statistical inference and experimental design. It relies on the premise that the vast majority of quantitative visualizations involve statistical models (scatterplots, regressions, bar charts, etc.) and that generating these visualizations requires consistency with the statistical specifications.

Hadley Wickham


Dominik Moritz

Reflections on the Vega ecosystem and how Vega, Vega-Lite, and Draco relate to each other. Teaser for Draco 2: faster, simpler, and documented!

Xiaoying Pu

Challenges in evaluating visualization grammars encountered in the Probabilistic Grammar of Graphics project


Xiaoying Pu, Matthew Kay, Steven Drucker, Jeffrey Heer, Dominik Moritz, and Arvind Satyanarayan

The SIG proposal document

Xiaoying Pu, Matthew Kay, Steven M. Drucker, Jeffrey Heer, Dominik Moritz, and Arvind Satyanarayan. 2021. Special Interest Group on Visualization Grammars. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI ‘21 Extended Abstracts), May 8–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan. ACM, New York, NY, USA 3 Pages.


Cite us

  title={Special Interest Group on Visualization Grammars},
  author={Pu, Xiaoying, and Kay, Matthew and Drucker, Steven M. and Heer, Jeffrey and Moritz, Dominik  and Satyanarayan, Arvind},
  booktitle={CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI '21 Extended Abstracts)},