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Modeling and Visualization of Complex Systems and Enterprises: Explorations of Physical, Human, Economic, and Social Phenomena by William B. Rouse

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Chapter 8VISUALIZATION OF PHENOMENA

INTRODUCTION

Not all problems or questions require deep computational exploration. Visual portrayals of phenomena can lead to almost immediate recognition of where a mechanism might fail, or a process flow will lead to bottlenecks, or an incentive system may prompt unintended consequences. In particular, as discussed in Chapter 2, visualization of phenomena can assist in identifying the portions of the overall problem that may merit deep computational modeling. This is central to Step 4 of the overall methodology advanced in this book.

This chapter proceeds as follows. We first briefly address human vision as a phenomenon, primarily to recognize the topic as important but also to move beyond the science of vision to the design of visualizations. We next review the basics of visualization to provide grounding for the subsequent sections. The next section addresses the purposes of visualization, the object of design being the fulfillment of purposes. A visualization design methodology is then presented and illustrated with an example from helicopter maintenance. Visualization tools are then briefly reviewed. Various case studies from Stevens Institute's Immersion Lab are discussed. The notion of policy flight simulators is introduced and elaborated. Finally, results are presented from an extensive study of what users want from visualizations and supporting computational tools.

HUMAN VISION AS A PHENOMENON

Human abilities to perceive and recognize ...

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