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IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph. 2014 Apr;20(4):513-22. doi: 10.1109/TVCG.2014.20.

Effects of VR system fidelity on analyzing isosurface visualization of volume datasets.

Author information

1
Virginia Tech.

Abstract

Volume visualization is an important technique for analyzing datasets from a variety of different scientific domains. Volume data analysis is inherently difficult because volumes are three-dimensional, dense, and unfamiliar, requiring scientists to precisely control the viewpoint and to make precise spatial judgments. Researchers have proposed that more immersive (higher fidelity) VR systems might improve task performance with volume datasets, and significant results tied to different components of display fidelity have been reported. However, more information is needed to generalize these results to different task types, domains, and rendering styles. We visualized isosurfaces extracted from synchrotron microscopic computed tomography (SR-μCT) scans of beetles, in a CAVE-like display. We ran a controlled experiment evaluating the effects of three components of system fidelity (field of regard, stereoscopy, and head tracking) on a variety of abstract task categories that are applicable to various scientific domains, and also compared our results with those from our prior experiment using 3D texture-based rendering. We report many significant findings. For example, for search and spatial judgment tasks with isosurface visualization, a stereoscopic display provides better performance, but for tasks with 3D texture-based rendering, displays with higher field of regard were more effective, independent of the levels of the other display components. We also found that systems with high field of regard and head tracking improve performance in spatial judgment tasks. Our results extend existing knowledge and produce new guidelines for designing VR systems to improve the effectiveness of volume data analysis.

PMID:
24650978
DOI:
10.1109/TVCG.2014.20

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