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Virtual Reality for Scientific Visualization: an Exploratory Analysis of Presentation Methods

Description: Humans are very effective at evaluating information visually. Scientific visualization is concerned with the process of presenting complex data in visual form to exploit this capability. A large array of tools is currently available for visual presentation. This research attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of three different presentation models that could be used for scientific visualization. The presentation models studied were, two-dimensional perspective rendering, field sequential stereoscopic three dimensional rendering and immersive virtual reality rendering. A large section of a three dimensional sub surface seismic survey was modeled as four-dimensional data by including a value for seismic reflectivity at each point in the survey. An artificial structure was randomly inserted into this data model and subjects were asked to locate and identify the structures. A group of seventeen volunteers from the University of Houston student body served as subjects for the study. Detection time, discrimination time and discrimination accuracy were recorded. The results showed large inter subject variation in presentation model preference. In addition the data suggest a possible gender effect. Female subjects had better overall performance on the task as well as better task acquisition.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Hetsel, Gene A. (Gene Arthur)
Partner: UNT Libraries