Visualizing Algorithms

Visualizing Algorithms by Mike Bostock.

From the post:

Algorithms are a fascinating use case for visualization. To visualize an algorithm, we don’t merely fit data to a chart; there is no primary dataset. Instead there are logical rules that describe behavior. This may be why algorithm visualizations are so unusual, as designers experiment with novel forms to better communicate. This is reason enough to study them.

But algorithms are also a reminder that visualization is more than a tool for finding patterns in data. Visualization leverages the human visual system to augment human intellect: we can use it to better understand these important abstract processes, and perhaps other things, too.

Better start with fresh pot of coffee when you read Mike’s post. Mike covers visualization of sampling algorithms using Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, sorting and maze generation (2-D). It is well written and illustrated but it is a lot of material to cover in one read.

The post finishes up with numerous references to other algorithm visualization efforts.

Put on your “must read” list for this weekend!

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