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Lightness Constancy in Surface Visualization

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Volume 22, Number 9, page 2107--2121 — Sept 2016
Download the publication : constancy-preprint.pdf [13.7Mo]  

Color is a common channel for displaying data in surface visualization, but is affected by the shadows and shading used to convey surface depth and shape. Understanding encoded data in the context of surface structure is critical for effective analysis in a variety of domains, such as in molecular biology. In the physical world, lightness constancy allows people to accurately perceive shadowed colors; however, its effectiveness in complex synthetic environments such as surface visualizations is not well understood. We report a series of crowdsourced and laboratory studies that confirm the existence of lightness constancy effects for molecular surface visualizations using ambient occlusion. We provide empirical evidence of how common visualization design decisions can impact viewers' abilities to accurately identify encoded surface colors. These findings suggest that lightness constancy aids in understanding color encodings in surface visualization and reveal a correlation between visualization techniques that improve color interpretation in shadow and those that enhance perceptions of surface depth. These results collectively suggest that understanding constancy in practice can inform effective visualization design.

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BibTex references

  author       = "Albers Szafir, Danielle and Sarikaya, Alper and Gleicher, Michael",
  title        = "Lightness Constancy in Surface Visualization",
  journal      = "IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics",
  number       = "9",
  volume       = "22",
  pages        = "2107--2121",
  month        = "Sept",
  year         = "2016",
  ee           = "http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7328340/",
  doi          = "10.1109/TVCG.2015.2500240",
  url          = "http://graphics.cs.wisc.edu/Papers/2016/ASG16"

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