Value-Suppressing Uncertainty Palettes


Understanding uncertainty is critical for many analytical tasks. One common approach is to encode data values and uncertainty values independently, using two visual variables. These resulting bivariate maps can be difficult to interpret, and interference between visual channels can reduce the discriminability of marks. To address this issue, we contribute Value-Suppressing Uncertainty Palettes (VSUPs). VSUPs allocate larger ranges of a visual channel to data when uncertainty is low, and smaller ranges when uncertainty is high. This non-uniform budgeting of the visual channels makes more economical use of the limited visual encoding space when uncertainty is low, and encourages more cautious decision-making when uncertainty is high. We demonstrate several examples of VSUPs, and present a crowdsourced evaluation showing that, compared to traditional bivariate maps, VSUPs encourage people to more heavily weight uncertainty information in decision-making tasks.

Michael Correll
Dominik Moritz
Jeffrey Heer
Publication Date: 
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Publication Information: 
CHI 2018, April 21–26, 2018, Montreal, QC, Canada