Monthly Archives: October 2012

An Empirical Study on Using Visual Embellishments in Visualization

In written and spoken communications, figures of speech (e.g., metaphors and synecdoche) are often used as an aid to help convey abstract or less tangible concepts. However, the benefits of using rhetorical illustrations or embellishments in visualization have so far been inconclusive. In this work, we report an empirical study to evaluate hypotheses that visual embellishments may aid memorization, visual search and concept comprehension. One major departure from related experiments in the literature is that we make use of a dualtask methodology in our experiment. This design offers an abstraction of typical situations where viewers do not have their full attention focused on visualization (e.g., in meetings and lectures). The secondary task introduces “divided attention”, and makes the effects of visual embellishments more observable. In addition, it also serves as additional masking in memory-based trials. The results of this study show that visual embellishments can help participants better remember the information depicted in visualization. On the other hand, visual embellishments can have a negative impact on the speed of visual search. The results show a complex pattern as to the benefits of visual embellishments in helping participants grasp key concepts from visualization.

Rita Borgo, Alfie Abdul-Rahman, Farhan Mohamed, Philip W. Grant, Irene Reppa, Luciano Floridi, and Min Chen

On the implementation and analysis of expectation maximization algorithms with stopping criterion

The Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm is an alternative reconstruction method to the Filtered Back Projection method, providing many advantages including decreased sensitivity to noise. However the algorithm requires a large number of iterations to reach adequate convergence. Due to this, research has been carried out into accelerating the convergence rate of the EM algorithm. In this paper we present an analysis of an EM implementation which uses both OSEM and MGEM, comparing results on a per time basis with both acceleration techniques alone as well as a combination of the two methods. We provide an alternative stopping criterion based on the RMS error of the projections of the current reconstruction and compare the result with an existing variance based approach.

Andrew Ryan, Benjamin Mora and Min Chen.
IEEE International Conference on Image Processing 2012.