Is it darker? Improving density representation in 2D scatter plots through a user study

Enrico Bertini, Giuseppe Santucci

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


    Density differences are one of the main features users perceive in 2D scatter plots. However, because of pixels' collisions, some areas become saturated and such differences are lost. To solve this problem, several proposals rely on sampling the dataset before visualizing it. Some of these introduce precise measures to understand the image degradation and use numerical differences in pixels to estimate density differences. It is our opinion that this issue deserves a deeper analysis, taking into account perceptual issues. In this paper we describe a study we conducted to understand the relationship between numerical pixel density and the perceived density. The results obtained were used to refine a sampling technique we developed to preserve relative densities in the context of 2D scatter plots.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number17
    Pages (from-to)158-167
    Number of pages10
    JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
    StatePublished - 2005
    EventProceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Visualization and Data Analysis 2005 - San Jose, CA, United States
    Duration: Jan 17 2005Jan 18 2005


    • Data sampling
    • Quality metrics
    • User studies
    • Visual clutter

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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