Measuring and Modeling the Feature Detection Threshold Functions of Colormaps

TitleMeasuring and Modeling the Feature Detection Threshold Functions of Colormaps
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsWare, C, Turton, TL, Bujack, R, Samsel, F, Shrivastava, P, Rogers, DH
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Pages2777 - 2790
Date PublishedSeptember 1

Pseudocoloring is one of the most common techniques used in scientific visualization. To apply pseudocoloring to a scalar field, the field value at each point is represented using one of a sequence of colors (called a colormap). One of the principles applied in generating colormaps is uniformity and previously the main method for determining uniformity has been the application of uniform color spaces. In this paper we present a new method for evaluating the feature detection threshold function across a colormap. The method is used in crowdsourced studies for the direct evaluation of nine colormaps for three feature sizes. The results are used to test the hypothesis that a uniform color space (CIELAB) will accurately model colormapped feature detection thresholds compared to a model where the chromaticity components have reduced weights. The hypothesis that feature detection can be predicted solely on the basis of luminance is also tested. The results reject both hypotheses and we demonstrate how reduced weights on the green-red and blue-yellow terms of the CIELAB color space creates a more accurate model when the task is the detection of smaller features in colormapped data. Both the method itself and modified CIELAB can be used in colormap design and evaluation.

Refereed DesignationRefereed