The Effects of Immersion on 3D Information Visualization


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Virginia Tech


The effects of immersion with respect to information visualization have rarely been explored. In this thesis, we describe a methodology, two information visualization applications that were developed using the CAVE, and three user studies in order to explore, examine and attempt to quantify the effects of immersion. We focus on three major components of immersion: field of regard (FOR), head-based rendering (HBR), and stereoscopic viewing.

We hypothesize that a high degree of FOR will result in increased task performance and user satisfaction when visualizing data represented by scatter and surface plots. We also hypothesize that HBR and stereoscopic viewing will result in increased task performance, but the effects of these components would be greater in the scatter plots than surface plots.

We have conducted three user studies with the information visualization applications developed for this research. In the first study, an exploratory pilot study, we observed a trend in favor of using high FOR and HBR. In the second exploratory pilot study, we observed a slight trend in favor of high FOR. In the third study, thirty-two subjects performed tasks using both the scatter plots and surface plots with eight test conditions. We observed trends in favor of high levels of FOR, HBR and stereoscopic viewing in scatter plots, a slight trend in favor of HBR for surface plots, and a significant interaction effect between FOR and HBR in scatter plots for a particular task.



Virtual Environments, CAVE, 3D Information Visualization, Scatter Plots, Surface Plots