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A Spreadsheet Approach to Facilitate Visualization of Uncertainty in Information

Streit, Alexander T., Pham, Binh L., & Brown, Ross A. (2008) A Spreadsheet Approach to Facilitate Visualization of Uncertainty in Information. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 14(1), pp. 61-72.

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Abstract

Information uncertainty is inherent in many problems and is often subtle and complicated to understand. Although visualization is a powerful means for exploring and understanding information, information uncertainty visualization is ad hoc and not widespread. This paper identifies two main barriers to the uptake of information uncertainty visualization: first, the difficulty of modeling and propagating the uncertainty information and, second, the difficulty of mapping uncertainty to visual elements. To overcome these barriers, we extend the spreadsheet paradigm to encapsulate uncertainty details within cells. This creates an inherent awareness of the uncertainty associated with each variable. The spreadsheet can hide the uncertainty details, enabling the user to think simply in terms of variables. Furthermore, the system can aid with automated propagation of uncertainty information, since it is intrinsically aware of the uncertainty. The system also enables mapping the encapsulated uncertainty to visual elements via the formula language and a visualization sheet. Support for such low-level visual mapping provides flexibility to explore new techniques for information uncertainty visualization.

Impact and interest:

13 citations in Scopus
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6 citations in Web of Science®

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208 since deposited on 03 Jun 2008
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ID Code: 13647
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Spreadsheets, Uncertainty Visualisation
DOI: 10.1109/TVCG.2007.70426
ISSN: 1077-2626
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Information Systems not elsewhere classified (080699)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IMAGE PROCESSING (080100) > Computer Graphics (080103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Computer-Human Interaction (080602)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 IEEE
Copyright Statement: Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.
Deposited On: 03 Jun 2008
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:49

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