VAST Challenge 2014: Grand Challenge



IEEE VAST Challenge 2014 is open for submissions! The VAST Challenge uses the Precision Conference System (PCS) to handle the submission and reviewing process. PCS is available at https://precisionconference.com/~vgtc/. If you do not already have a login for the system you must register first. Once you are logged into your account please choose VAST 2014 Challenge under “new submissions” and follow the instructions.

Frequently-asked questions will be added at the bottom of this page as they are received. Check back frequently for updated information.


Note: This scenario and all the people, places, groups, technologies, contained therein are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, places, groups, or technologies is purely coincidental.

As an expert in visual analytics who has been supporting law enforcement in their investigation, you have had an opportunity to study a wide range of available data. Using the data and analyses from Mini-Challenges 1, 2, and 3, answer the following questions. Please also provide a video that shows how you used visual analytics to solve this challenge. Submission instructions are available here. The entry form is available for download below.

Questions for Participants

  1. Summarize and describe the events of January, 2014 relating to the disappearance of the GAStech employees. Focus on the disappearance of the employees, and the events immediately before and afterward. The summary should include the following:
  • Who: Individuals and groups involved and their roles
  • What: A description of what happened over the time period
  • Where: Associate events with locations
  • When: Specific times of activities, particularly as they relate to planning and execution
  • Why: A description of the motives or motivations of the individuals or groups involved
  • How: What, if any, notable entities provided support for or facilitated the events that took place? These could be people, places, or things that helped those responsible for the disappearance in some way.
Do not reproduce the overview or MC1 materials concerning background knowledge, although you may reference this information if needed. Visualizations illustrating how you determined the summary points above are encouraged. Please limit your response to no more than five images and 500 words.
  1. Describe at a high level the most significant networks that exist, and how they have influenced each other to produce the current situation. Please limit your response to no more than five images and 100 words.
  2. Identify three of the most significant information gaps that remain at the end of the time period covered by the data. Describe why this missing information would be important to the investigation. Highlight in your visualizations where these knowledge gaps are present. Please limit your response to no more than three images and 250 words.
  3. The police have sufficient manpower to investigate up to two different locations simultaneously. Provide your best recommendation to the police chief as to where the police should be deployed, and why. Provide visualizations that help describe the importance of this action. Please limit your response to no more than two images and 100 words.

Download the Entry Form

Enter your email address below to download the entry form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: May we participate in the Grand Challenge even if we do not submit answers for all of the mini-challenges?

Answer: Generally, people who submit answers for the Grand Challenge also submit answers for each of the three mini-challenges as well, and we encourage people to do so. However, you may participate in the Grand Challenge even if you do not submit answers for all three mini-challenges. In order to answer the Grand Challenge questions, you will need the data and the discoveries you make in all three mini-challenges.

Page last modified on Monday, June 23, 2014