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Stereoscopic Label Placement: Reducing Distraction and Ambiguity in Visually Cluttered Displays
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With increasing information density and complexity, computer displays may become visually cluttered, adversely affecting overall usability. Text labels can significantly add to visual clutter in graphical user interfaces, but are generally kept legible through specific label placement algorithms that seek visual separation of labels and other objects in the 2D view plane. This work studies an alternative approach: can overlapping labels be visually segregated by distributing them in stereoscopic depth? The fact that we have two forward-looking eyes yields stereoscopic disparity: each eye has a slightly different perspective on objects in the visual field. Disparity is used for depth perception by the human visual system, and is therefore also provided by stereoscopic 3D displays to produce a sense of depth.

This work has shown that a stereoscopic label placement algorithm yields user performance comparable with existing algorithms that separate labels in the view plane. At the same time, such stereoscopic label placement is subjectively rated significantly less disturbing than traditional methods. Furthermore, it does not allow for potentially ambiguous spatial relationships between labels and background objects inherent to labels separated in the view plane. These findings are important for display systems where disturbance, distraction and ambiguity of the overlay can negatively impact safety and efficiency of the system, including the reference application of this work: an augmented vision system for Air Traffic Control towers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electroic Press , 2009. , 75 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1293
Keyword [en]
Label placement, user interfaces, stereoscopic displays, augmented reality, virtual reality, visual clutter
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51742ISBN: 978-91-7393-469-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-51742DiVA: diva2:277279
Public defence
2009-12-18, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 14:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-12-07 Created: 2009-11-16 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Objective and Subjective Assessment of Stereoscopically Separated Labels in Augmented Reality
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Objective and Subjective Assessment of Stereoscopically Separated Labels in Augmented Reality
2009 (English)In: Computers & graphics, ISSN 0097-8493, Vol. 33, no 1, 23-33 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present a new technique for managing visual clutter caused by overlapping labels in complex information displays. This technique, label layering, utilizes stereoscopic disparity as a means to segregate labels in depth for increased legibility and clarity. By distributing overlapping labels in depth, we have found that selection time during a visual search task in situations with high levels of visual overlap is reduced by 4s or 24%. Our data show that the stereoscopically based depth order of the labels must be correlated with the distance order of their corresponding objects, for practical benefits. An algorithm using our label layering technique accordingly could be an alternative to traditional label placement algorithms that avoid label overlap at the cost of distracting view plane motion, symbology dimming or label size reduction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2009
Keyword
Label placement, User interfaces, Visual clutter, Augmented reality, Air traffic control
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17515 (URN)10.1016/j.cag.2008.11.006 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-03-27 Created: 2009-03-27 Last updated: 2009-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. Label Segregation by Remapping Stereoscopic Depth in Far-Field Augmented Reality
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Label Segregation by Remapping Stereoscopic Depth in Far-Field Augmented Reality
2008 (English)In: 7th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, 2008. ISMAR 2008. / [ed] Mark A. Livingston, Oliver Bimber, Hideo Saito, Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE , 2008, 143-152 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper describes a novel technique for segregating overlapping labels in stereoscopic see-through displays. The present study investigates the labeling of far-field objects, with distances ranging 100-120 m. At these distances the stereoscopic disparity difference between objects is below 1 arcmin, so labels rendered at the same distance as their corresponding objects appear as if on a flat layer in the display. This flattening is due to limitations of both display and human visual resolution. By remapping labels to predetermined depth layers on the optical path between the observer and the labeled object, an interlayer disparity ranging from 5 to 20 arcmin can be achieved for 5 overlapping labels. The present study evaluates the impact of such depth separation of superimposed layers, and found that a 5 arcmin interlayer disparity yields a significantly lower response time, over 20% on average, in a visual search task compared to correctly registering labels and objects in depth. Notably the performance does not improve when doubling the interlayer disparity to 10 arcmin and, surprisingly, the performance degrades significantly when again doubling the interlayer disparity to 20 arcmin, approximating the performance in situations with no interlayer disparity. These results confirm that our technique can be used to segregate overlapping labels in the far visual field, without the cost associated with traditional label placement algorithms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE, 2008
Keyword
label placement, user interfaces, stereoscopic displays, augmented reality, visual clutter, information layering
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-43009 (URN)10.1109/ISMAR.2008.4637341 (DOI)000260993200026 ()70649 (Local ID)978-1-4244-2840-3 (ISBN)978-1-4244-2859-5 (ISBN)70649 (Archive number)70649 (OAI)
Conference
7th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, Cambridge, UK, 15-18 Sept. 2008
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2014-04-22Bibliographically approved
3. Visual Clutter Management in Augmented Reality: Effects of Three Label Separation Methods on Spatial Judgments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Visual Clutter Management in Augmented Reality: Effects of Three Label Separation Methods on Spatial Judgments
2009 (English)In: IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces (3DUI), Lafayette (LA), USA: IEEE , 2009, 111-118 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper reports an experiment comparing three label separation methods for reducing visual clutter in Augmented Reality (AR) displays. We contrasted two common methods of avoiding visual overlap by moving labels in the 2D view plane with a third that distributes overlapping labels in stereoscopic depth. The experiment measured user identification performance during spatial judgment tasks in static scenes. The threemethods were compared with a control condition in which no label separation method was employed. The results showed significant performance improvements, generally 15-30%, for all three methods over the control; however, these methods were statistically indistinguishable from each other. In-depth analysis showed significant performance degradation when the 2D view plane methods produced potentially confusing spatial correlations between labels and the markers they designate. Stereoscopically separated labels were subjectively judged harder to read than view-plane separated labels. Since measured performance was affected both by label legibility and spatial correlation of labels and their designated objects, it is likely that the improved spatial correlation of stereoscopically separated labels and their designated objects has compensated for poorer stereoscopic text legibility. Future testing with dynamic scenes is expected to more clearly distinguish the three label separation techniques.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lafayette (LA), USA: IEEE, 2009
Keyword
Label placement, user interfaces, stereoscopic displays, augmented reality, visual clutter, information layering
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51073 (URN)10.1109/3DUI.2009.4811215 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-10-15 Created: 2009-10-15 Last updated: 2009-12-07Bibliographically approved
4. Evaluation of Alternative Label Placement Techniques in Dynamic Virtual Environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluation of Alternative Label Placement Techniques in Dynamic Virtual Environments
2009 (English)In: International Symposium on Smart Graphics, Berlin / Heidelberg: Springer , 2009, 43-55 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper reports on an experiment comparing label placement techniques in a dynamic virtual environment rendered on a stereoscopic display. The labeled objects are in motion, and thus labels need to continuously maintain separation for legibility. The results from our user study show that traditional label placement algorithms, which always strive for full label separation in the 2D view plane, produce motion that disturbs the user in a visual search task. Alternative algorithms maintaining separation in only one spatial dimension are rated less disturbing, even though several modifications are made to traditional algorithms for reducing the amount and salience of label motion. Maintaining depth separation of labels through stereoscopic disparity adjustments is judged theleast disturbing, while such separation yields similar user performance to traditional algorithms. These results are important in the design offuture 3D user interfaces, where disturbing or distracting motion due to object labeling should be avoided.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin / Heidelberg: Springer, 2009
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 5531
Keyword
Label placement, user interfaces, stereoscopic displays, virtual reality, visual clutter
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51074 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-02115-2_4 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-10-15 Created: 2009-10-15 Last updated: 2009-12-07Bibliographically approved
5. Detection Thresholds for Label Motion in Visually Cluttered Displays
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Detection Thresholds for Label Motion in Visually Cluttered Displays
2010 (English)In: IEEE Virtual Reality Conference (VR), 2010, Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE , 2010, 203-206 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

While label placement algorithms are generally successful in managing visual clutter by preventing label overlap, they can also cause significant label movement in dynamic displays. This study investigates motion detection thresholds for various types of label movement in realistic and complex virtual environments, which can be helpful for designing less salient and disturbing algorithms. Our results show that label movement in stereoscopic depth is shown to be less noticeable than similar lateral monoscopic movement, inherent to 2D label placement algorithms. Furthermore, label movement can be introduced more readily into the visual periphery (over 15° eccentricity) because of reduced sensitivity in this region. Moreover, under the realistic viewing conditions that we used, motion of isolated labels is more easily detected than that of overlapping labels. This perhaps counterintuitive finding may be explained by visual masking due to the visual clutter arising from the label overlap. The quantitative description of the findings presented in this paper should be useful not only for label placement applications, but also for any cluttered AR or VR application in which designers wish to control the users’ visual attention, either making text labels more or less noticeable as needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE, 2010
Series
IEEE Virtual Reality Annual International Symposium, ISSN 1087-8270
Keyword
H.5.2 [Information Systems], User Interfaces, I.3 [Computing Methodologies], Computer Graphics
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51741 (URN)10.1109/VR.2010.5444788 (DOI)000287516000034 ()978-1-4244-6237-7 (ISBN)978-1-4244-6236-0 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE Virtual Reality Conference (VR), Waltham, MA, USA, 20-24 March 2010
Available from: 2009-11-16 Created: 2009-11-16 Last updated: 2014-04-22Bibliographically approved

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Peterson, Stephen D.

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