Why evaluating uncertainty visualization is error prone

Jessica Hullman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations


Evaluating a visualization that depicts uncertainty is fraught with challenges due to the complex psychology of uncertainty. However, relatively little attention is paid to selecting and motivating a chosen interpretation or elicitation method for subjective probabilities in the uncertainty visualization literature. I survey existing evaluation work in uncertainty visualization, and examine how research in judgment and decision-making that focuses on subjective uncertainty elicitation sheds light on common approaches in visualization. I propose suggestions for practice aimed at reducing errors and noise related to how ground truth is defined for subjective probability estimates, the choice of an elicitation method, and the strategies used by subjects making judgments with an uncertainty visualization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - Beyond Time and Errors
Subtitle of host publicationNovel Evaluation Methods for Visualization, BELIV 2016 - 6th Bi-Annual Workshop
EditorsMichael Sedlmair, Heidi Lam, Petra Isenberg, Tobias Isenberg, Narges Mahyar
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450348188
StatePublished - Oct 24 2016
Event6th Workshop Beyond Time and Errors on Novel Evaluation Methods for Visualization, BELIV 2016 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Oct 24 2016 → …

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Other6th Workshop Beyond Time and Errors on Novel Evaluation Methods for Visualization, BELIV 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Period10/24/16 → …


  • Elicitation
  • Subjective probability distribution
  • Uncertainty visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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