What is clutter?

Speaker: Ruth Rosenholtz , MIT BCS

Date: Friday, April 01, 2005

Time: 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

Refreshments: 1:15 PM

Public: Yes

Location: Patil Seminar Room (32-G449)

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Host: Jaime Teevan, CSAIL

Contact: Jaime Teevan, 617/253-1611, teevan@mit.edu

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Reminders to: hci-seminar@csail.mit.edu

Reminder Subject: TALK: TBA

Management of clutter is an important factor in the design of user interfaces and information visualizations, allowing improved usability and aesthetics. However, clutter is not a well defined concept. The goal of our research has been to develop a computational measure of the amount of clutter in a display, based upon models of human perception, which can operate on an image of the display. We call our computational measure the Feature Congestion measure of visual clutter. This measure is based upon extensive modeling of the saliency of elements of a display, and upon a new operational definition of clutter. We test this measure by comparing our computed clutter both to observers' subjective rankings of clutter, and to objective measures of clutter based upon task performance. Preliminary results show good agreement between the computational, subjective, and objective measures of clutter on a collection of maps of varying degrees of clutter.


Ruth Rosenholtz is a Principal Research Scientist in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, having joined MIT in 2004 after 7 years at the Palo Alto Research Center (formerly Xerox PARC). Ruth's background is in electrical engineering, particularly computer vision. More recently, however, she has studied human vision, and in particular visual search and attention. Her engineering background shows through in her focus on finding predictive mathematical models of phenomena in human vision, and in her interest in applying knowledge of human perception to the design of better user interfaces and information visualizations. Ruth's current obsession is understanding and recognizing clutter.

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See other events that are part of the HCI Seminar Series Spring 2005.

Created by Linda L. Julien Email at Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:21 AM.