VAST Challenge 2014: Submission Instructions


All entries must be submitted by July 8, 2014, by 11:59pm PDT. If problems are detected with your entry (such as exceeding word, image, or video limits), the primary point of contact for the entry will be contacted to rectify the entry. These changes must be received no later than July 11. If the entry is not received by this time or the detected problems have not been rectified then the entry will not be accepted for the Challenge.

Required Materials

The following material is required for your submission. Each of these materials is described in greater detail below.
  1. An entry form.There is a specific entry form for each of the Mini-Challenges and the Grand Challenge.
  2. A four-minute video
If you complete multiple Mini-Challenges, please prepare a separate entry for each of them. For example, if you complete all three Mini-Challenge and the Grand Challenge, prepare four entries.

You also have the option to submit a two-page paper summarizing your entry. The due date for this paper is August 15, 2014.

Entry Form

An answer form is required for each entry. The entry form is included in the download package for each Mini-Challenge or Grand Challenge.

Complete the form as follows:
  1. The entry form can be edited with Microsoft Word or other word processors. Rename the entry form file to “index.htm”. Make sure to leave the form in “.htm” format.
  2. Name your entry using a composite of your team’s organization, primary contact's last name, and the challenge you are entering. For example, for a submission from the University of Maryland for Mini-Challenge 3, from a team led by Dr. Jones, please use UMD-Jones-MC3.
  3. Provide a list of team members, their affiliation, and email addresses. Provide a Primary Contact under your list of team members. The primary contact must be responsive to emails to handle all questions and communications related to the submission. If your team took advantage of the opportunity to ask questions, please indicate the point of contact for the questions and answers.
  4. Please indicate if this is a student team. A student team is defined as one led by a student and worked on by students. Class projects are good examples of submissions that would be provided by student teams.
  5. Provide a list of analytic tools used. Commercially available tools like Tableau or SAS can be mentioned by name. For tools not commercially available, please provide a tool name, developer name (or a company name), and any links to the tool that can provide us more information about it. For tools developed by the submitting team, additional information such as where it was developed (e.g., "SPINVIZ was developed by the University of West Birmingham CS 459 Information Visualization class, taught Spring 2011 by Dr. Smith, and adapted by the student team for the challenge.")
  6. Indicate whether you give your permission for your submission to be posted in the publicly-accessible Visual Analytics Benchmark Repository.
  7. Provide a link to your explanatory video. If size permits, please include this video in your electronic submission package. If not, please post it on the internet and provide a link. Please verify the link is active throughout the contest period, as it may be downloaded at various times by different VAST Challenge Committee members and reviewers. If you do not have a site on which you can post your video, please contact vast_challenge at ieeevis.org to discuss other approaches.
  8. Provide your answers to the challenge questions in the sections provided.


All entries are required to include a video with voice narration of up to four minutes long. One video must be provided for each mini-challenge or grand challenge entered. The video should be in .wmv format. Please contact the chairs at vast_challenge at ieeevis.org if you have questions concerning the video.

The video is your chance to fully explain your entry. Some tips for creating a video include:
  • Give a clear explanation of only those aspects of the tool that you used.
  • Give a clear explanation of your starting point for analysis and how you selected it
  • If there is a choice of visualizations to use explain why one was selected.
  • Give an explanation of how the visualization helped in the analysis.
  • If filters or transformation are applied, explain what was used and in what sequence they were applied.
  • If there are anomalies shown in a visualization, explain how they are factored into the analysis.
  • Give a careful definition of terms used such as “uncertainty.”
  • Describe any important assumptions you made.

Two-Page Summaries

Participants will be invited to publish two page summaries of their submission in the Conference Proceedings. These summaries allow the contestant to give a general overview of their approach and tools, significantly highlight novel features, provide references to papers and other relevant work and describe any new discoveries made about tools while working through the Challenge problem.

The two-page summary must be formatted according to the general IEEE VGTC Guidelines. They are submitted separately from your entry, and are due about a month after the entry deadline.

Packaging and Submitting Your Entry

  1. For each challenge we provide an answer form. Rename this form to "index.htm" and save it on your local computer. Use this form to provide your answers either by adding text to the form itself or by linking to the separate files you need to provide.
  2. Create a folder on your computer with the same name as your entry name. Save the completed entry form (index.htm), your video, and your other images in this folder as well. The index.htm file should contain link to your video. Use relative links so they will still work when your materials are moved to another folder.
  3. Zip the entire directory and save it in a file using the same entry name, for example, UMD-Jones-MC3.zip. If your zip file is greater than 50 MB in size, please post your video or other large materials on the internet instead of including it in your zip file. The submission system can only accept files smaller than 50 MB.

IEEE VAST Challenge 2014 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.

VAST Challenge 2014 Main Page
Mini-Challenge 1
Mini-Challenge 2
Mini-Challenge 3
Grand Challenge

Page last modified on Thursday, March 27, 2014