Thursday, December 15, 2011

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

Dealing with the subjectivity of visualization, the authors identified the need for a scientific foundation and they took some steps in that direction. The paper includes both theory and experimentation that backs up the theory.

The first part of the theory is an identification of a set of elementary perceptual tasks. A second part is the ordering of the tasks. Experimentation consists on subjects recording their judgements of the quantitive information of the graph.

The theory and experiments support the conclusion: a complete change is need in the current graphs being used. The authors also purpose alternative graphs: dot charts, dot charts with grouping and framed-rectangle charts. Even when I understand the problems presented in this graph, I don’t really find the new graphs better or being used in the long-term (which apparently happened).