Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reaction Graphical Perception: Theory, Experimentation, and Application to the Development of Graphical Methods

The author's approach in this paper is to lay a scientific foundation for graphical perception-the visual decoding of information encoded on graphs. There paper is focusing on two parts.

The first part is an identification of a set of elementary perceptual tasks that are carried out when people extract quantitative information from graphs.

The second part is an ordering of the tasks on the basis of how accurately people perform them.

As the paper is dated to back in 1984, the paper proposes replacements for much older graphical forms like dot charts, dot charts with grouping, and framed-rectangle charts.

The first part described the use of several graphical forms like bars charts, pie charts etc., which we still use this day. These graphical forms have come a long way in helping us out in our routine business processes and presentations. I must say, inspite of lot of advancements in data visualization, these graphical forms are still being used to this day.

The second part's focus is on proposing and working out the replacements to several old graphical forms.

Overall, the paper was really interesting. A lot of care is exercised in experimenting with the subjects regarding their perception. The experiment results comply with our expectations. It is really amazing that several of the proposals in this paper are still being followed.