Computational Visual Media


color palette, discriminability, image-guided, categorical data visualization


Appropriate color mapping for categorical data visualization can significantly facilitate the discovery of underlying data patterns and effectively bring out visual aesthetics. Some systems suggest pre-defined palettes for this task. However, a predefined color mapping is not always optimal, failing to consider users’ needs for customization. Given an input cate-gorical data visualization and a reference image, we present an effective method to automatically generate a coloring that resembles the reference while allowing classes to be easily distinguished. We extract a color palette with high perceptual distance between the colors by sampling dominant and discriminable colors from the image’s color space. These colors are assigned to given classes by solving an integer quadratic program to optimize point distinctness of the given chart while preserving the color spatial relations in the source image. We show results on various coloring tasks, with a diverse set of new coloring appearances for the input data. We also compare our approach to state-of-the-art palettes in a controlled user study, which shows that our method achieves comparable performance in class discrimination, while being more similar to the source image. User feedback after using our system verifies its efficiency in automatically generating desirable colorings that meet the user’s expectations when choosing a reference.