Uncertainty Visualization and Related Techniques

Ann M. Bisantz

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Engineering

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199757183
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Uncertainty Visualization and Related Techniques

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology



This chapter provides an overview of visual display techniques used to represent uncertainty information to system operators and decision makers. These techniques include the use of graphical parameters such as color, transparency, and texture, as well as the development of specialized icons or glyphs that encode uncertainty as dimensions or properties of the icon. The results of several research studies that have evaluated different visual representations, as well as considered the interaction among representational form, salience, and task context, are also summarized, and the relationship of visual representations of uncertainty to other forms of uncertainty representation (i.e., phrases, sound) as well as other display paradigms (visual analytics, object displays) is considered. Finally, design considerations as well as significant research challenges—including needs to evaluate the effect of representations in operational displays using knowledgeable operators and to develop displays that effectively combine multiple forms of uncertainty, or uncertainty along with other categories of information—are discussed.

Keywords: uncertainty; visualization; information display; interface design

Article.  9618 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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