"A Survey of Visualization Pipelines." Kenneth Moreland. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 19(3), March 2013. DOI 10.1109/TVCG.2012.133.
The most common abstraction used by visualization libraries and applications today is what is known as the visualization pipeline. The visualization pipeline provides a mechanism to encapsulate algorithms and then couple them together in a variety of ways. The visualization pipeline has been in existence for over twenty years, and over this time many variations and improvements have been proposed. This paper provides a literature review of the most prevalent features of visualization pipelines and some of the most recent research directions.