AQEyes: Visual Analytics for Anomaly Detection and Examination of Air Quality Data

by   Dongyu Liu, et al.

Anomaly detection plays a key role in air quality analysis by enhancing situational awareness and alerting users to potential hazards. However, existing anomaly detection approaches for air quality analysis have their own limitations regarding parameter selection (e.g., need for extensive domain knowledge), computational expense, general applicability (e.g., require labeled data), interpretability, and the efficiency of analysis. Furthermore, the poor quality of collected air quality data (inconsistently formatted and sometimes missing) also increases the difficulty of analysis substantially. In this paper, we systematically formulate design requirements for a system that can solve these limitations and then propose AQEyes, an integrated visual analytics system for efficiently monitoring, detecting, and examining anomalies in air quality data. In particular, we propose a unified end-to-end tunable machine learning pipeline that includes several data pre-processors and featurizers to deal with data quality issues. The pipeline integrates an efficient unsupervised anomaly detection method that works without the use of labeled data and overcomes the limitations of existing approaches. Further, we develop an interactive visualization system to visualize the outputs from the pipeline. The system incorporates a set of novel visualization and interaction designs, allowing analysts to visually examine air quality dynamics and anomalous events in multiple scales and from multiple facets. We demonstrate the performance of this pipeline through a quantitative evaluation and show the effectiveness of the visualization system using qualitative case studies on real-world datasets.


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