Wednesday, September 7, 2011

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

This paper deals with the effectiveness of graphs in representing data. Authors of this paper conduct an experiment to test the ease by which users can accurately comprehend the underlying data. The paper revolves around this experiment. At the start of this paper the author presents a hypothesis, gives information about the subjects of this experiment. Further he carries out the experiment and as expected gives further improvements to improve graphical representation techniques.

In my opinion, this is a well written paper with a few good points and bad points. Good points being the care with which the author carries out his experiments. Details like experimental environment, choosing subjects, hypothesis, studying results are taken good care of. This is a sign of a good scientific study. However overall the paper seems outdated. The enhancements proposed to the most basic graphs have not been in practice since the paper has been written and still these graphical representations have come a long way. So reading the paper today gives me an impression that their effort was futile. To conclude I think graphs, pie charts, etc. are to give an overall representation of the data and to gain accuracy the user will have to refer spreadsheets and databases.