The Expanded Perception and Interaction Centre (EPICentre)


NarVAT: Narrative Visualisation Powered by Rhetorical Structure Theory

The field of Narrative Visualisation (also known as Data Storytelling) is receiving renewed attention among storytellers, journalists, and academics. However, while leaps and bounds have been made in terms of the visualisations themselves, formal narrative structures that serve the field’s objective of data communication are yet to emerge.

We present our tool for Narrative Visualisation that offers a “NarVis-native” narrative structure, derived from Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST). Our tool, NarVAT (Narrative Visual Analytics Toolkit), provides a node-based editor, allowing users to create distributed narratives using RST, and then craft high fidelity visualisations to accompany them.

Our tool also offers playback of the narrative, with a virtual presenter speaking the narrative and re-creating the visualisations in real time. If you wish to use your RST narrative for another purpose, you can export it as a JSON file from NarVAT directly.

NarVAT download will be available soon.

Note: If you use NarVAT in your research, please make sure to reference the following paper:
Edmond, C., Lawther, R., Cordeil, M. & Bednarz, T. (2021). RST as Narrative Structure for Node-Based Editors. International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction (VINCI 2021).

For more information about NarVAT and other EPICentre projects, please e-mail epicentre _at_ au.


Project Director
A/Prof Tomasz Bednarz

Research Leads
Dr Cameron Edmond
Dr Steven Wark
A/Prof Tomasz Bednarz

Software Engineering
Robert Lawther
Conan Bourke
Marcin Nowina-Krowicki