Visual analytic tools combine the complementary strengths of humans and machines in human-in-the-loop systems. Humans provide invaluable domain expertise and sensemaking capabilities to this discourse with analytic models; however, little consideration has yet been given to the ways inherent human biases might shape the visual analytic process. In this paper, we establish a conceptual framework for considering bias assessment through human-in-the-loop systems and lay the theoretical foundations for bias measurement. We propose six preliminary metrics to systematically detect and quantify bias from user interactions and demonstrate how the metrics might be implemented in an existing visual analytic system, InterAxis. We discuss how our proposed metrics could be used by visual analytic systems to mitigate the negative effects of cognitive biases by making users aware of biased processes throughout their analyses.


E. Wall, L. Blaha, L. Franklin, and A. Endert, “Warning, Bias May Occur: A Proposed Approach to Detecting Cognitive Bias in Interactive Visual Analytics“, IEEE Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST), 2017.