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Visualizing uncertainty: The impact on performance

Kirschenbaum, SS and Trafton, JG and Schunn, CD and Trickett, SB (2014) Visualizing uncertainty: The impact on performance. Human Factors, 56 (3). 509 - 520. ISSN 0018-7208

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Abstract

Objective: This work investigated the impact of uncertainty representation on performance in a complex authentic visualization task, submarine localization. Background: Because passive sonar does not provide unique course, speed, and range information on a contact, the submarine operates under significant uncertainty. There are many algorithms designed to address this problem, but all are subject to uncertainty. The extent of this solution uncertainty can be expressed in several ways, including a table of locations (course, speed, range) or a graphical area of uncertainty. Method: To test the hypothesis that the representation of uncertainty that more closely matches the experts' preferred representation of the problem would better support performance, even for the nonexpert., performance data were collected using displays that were either stripped of the spatial or the tabular representation. Results: Performance was more accurate when uncertainty was displayed spatially. This effect was only significant for the nonexperts for whom the spatial displays supported almost expert-like performance. This effect appears to be due to reduced mental effort. Conclusion: These results suggest that when the representation of uncertainty for this spatial task better matches the expert's preferred representation of the problem even a nonexpert can show expert-like performance. Application: These results could apply to any domain where performance requires working with highly uncertain information. Copyright © 2013, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.


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Details

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kirschenbaum, SS
Trafton, JG
Schunn, CDschunn@pitt.eduSCHUNN0000-0003-3589-297X
Trickett, SB
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Learning Research & Development Center
Date: 1 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Human Factors
Volume: 56
Number: 3
Page Range: 509 - 520
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1177/0018720813498093
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0018-7208
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2014 16:40
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:56
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22980

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