Reactive Vega: A Streaming Dataflow Architecture for Declarative Interactive Visualization
IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics (Proc. IEEE InfoVis), 2016
We present Reactive Vega, a system architecture that provides the first robust and comprehensive treatment of declarative visual and interaction design for data visualization. Starting from a single declarative specification, Reactive Vega constructs a dataflow graph in which input data, scene graph elements, and interaction events are all treated as first-class streaming data sources. To support expressive interactive visualizations that may involve time-varying scalar, relational, or hierarchical data, Reactive Vega’s dataflow graph can dynamically re-write itself at runtime by extending or pruning branches in a data-driven fashion. We discuss both compile- and run-time optimizations applied within Reactive Vega, and share the results of benchmark studies that indicate superior interactive performance to both D3 and the original, non-reactive Vega system.