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International Journal for Uncertainty Quantification

Impact factor: 1.000

ISSN Print: 2152-5080
ISSN Online: 2152-5099

Open Access

International Journal for Uncertainty Quantification

DOI: 10.1615/Int.J.UncertaintyQuantification.2012003956
pages 203-223


Keqin Wu
The GeoSystems Research Institute, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi 39762, USA
Song Zhang
The GeoSystems Research Institute, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi 39762


Uncertainty is a common and crucial issue in scientific data. The exploration and analysis of three-dimensional (3D) and large two-dimensional (2D) data with uncertainty information demand an effective visualization augmented with both user interaction and relevant context. The contour tree has been exploited as an efficient data structure to guide exploratory visualization. This paper proposes an interactive visualization tool for exploring data with quantitative uncertainty representations. First, we introduce a balanced planar hierarchical contour tree layout integrated with tree view interaction, allowing users to quickly navigate between levels of detail for contours of large data. Further, uncertainty information is attached to a planar contour tree layout to avoid the visual cluttering and occlusion in viewing uncertainty in 3D data or large 2D data. For the first time, the uncertainty information is explored as a combination of the data-level uncertainty which represents the uncertainty concerning the numerical values of the data, the contour variability which quantifies the positional variation of contours, and the topology variability which reveals the topological variation of contour trees. This information provides a new insight into how the uncertainty exists with and relates to the features of the data. The experimental results show that this new visualization facilitates a quick and accurate selection of prominent contours with high or low uncertainty and variability.