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Virtual Reality Application in Data Visualization and Analysis

Written by X. Zhang

Paper category

Master Thesis


Computer Science




Master Thesis: What is virtual reality Since the launch of Oculus, virtual reality has been discussed a lot recently. According to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, in a sample of 1057 respondents, 84.3% had heard of at least this semester2. Over the years, many manufacturers have introduced their own solution packages, products or equipment to the market. There are also some large companies. Google, Samsung, and Facebook have been pushing the boundaries of this emerging hype. To most people today, this technology seems very new, but it's actually not brand new. Dating back to the 1960s, a VR system 3 was first created. As early as 1989, Webster’s new universal unabridged dictionary 4 defined virtuality as “existing in essence or effect, but in fact it is not the case” and reality as “the state or quality of reality. It is independent of what is about it. Things that exist as ideas. Things that make up real or actual things are distinguished from only obvious things." In this sense, virtual reality sounds confusing and contradictory. However, a more modern definition of the word comes from Merriam-Webster5, which is "an artificial environment experienced through computer-provided sensory stimuli (such as sight and sound), in which a person’s behavior partially determines what happens in the environment. "This is already a good definition, but there is another one that provides a special perspective. According to Jerald’s statement in The VR Book, virtual reality is considered a means of communication. It “is defined as a computer-generated digital environment that can be experienced and interacted like a real environment.” 6 In this way, a An ideal virtual reality system will provide users with understanding, and as an ideal medium, provide an immersive experience for virtual objects. It will connect a series of entities by providing multiple modes and stimuli, so it has a more attractive impression on users than other forms of communication. Therefore, it is clear that VR will be an ideal way to reveal meaningful information contained in cumbersome data sets, because it brings viewers closer to the essence of the data, thereby revealing useful information that can be better understood by users. end user. Taking advantage of the immersive experience, this technology will naturally be first introduced into industries or fields such as games, entertainment, education, professional training or exhibitions that are designed to provide audiences with shocking perception. rare. However, VR should not be limited to these areas. Since it also provides viewers with a perception of the world and reveals deeper insights into cumbersome data, it can also be applied to scientific research to visualize large data sets that are otherwise difficult to understand. Part 2VR Data Visualization Design Visualization is essential for the essential communication between humans and data. Correct data visualization can not only simply map data in a meaningful way, but also provide new perspectives for survey data, and thus provide different perspectives for perceiving the world constructed by data. It plays a more important role, especially in today's world where digitalization changes daily business and life. The term “big data” makes people realize that speed, diversity, and volume are the three factors of today’s data34. In this era of big data, how can massive multi-dimensional and multi-featured data be visualized and deliver important information to users? With the development of technology to this day, human-computer interaction (HCI) has also undergone tremendous changes. Nowadays, even visual interaction is not enough. People use gestures such as pinch and slide on smartphones for basic interaction. Video game players use dynamic gestures to control actions and receive tactile feedback from the game. Multimodal interaction is now becoming the mainstream of HCI. Therefore, as an emerging technology, it can provide an immersive environment, track the user's dynamic behavior and provide intuitive interaction with virtual objects. VR is required for visualizing complex models, spatial relationships, and rich interactions from object to object. Meeting point. Humanity. Data visualization in VR can map multi-dimensional data models to the virtual world and provide multi-modal interaction for data sets. According to Experiment 35, because humans are biologically sensitive to visual cues and patterns, the VR environment as a visualization method can achieve more effective analysis, especially in revealing valuable information in spatial and location data sets. In addition, VR can easily visualize multi-dimensional data. Because it is in the 3D world that humans naturally adapt, data points can contain more information than 2D graphics. It not only includes changes in size, color, and texture, but also changes in shape or form, spatial sound, and spatial alignment. The XYZ axis may even smell. Therefore, multi-dimensional data can be brought into the virtual world and displayed to data analysts. Using the advanced interaction techniques mentioned in the previous section, the data analyst then traverses the data set, interacts with a subset of the data of special interest, and takes a closer look at the data points by approaching it. Last but not least, in addition to visualization and interaction, VR also brings opportunities for data analysts to collaborate with others, even though they are in different spaces. By sharing the same virtual world and using the advantages of virtual reality interaction, they will help each other find patterns of information that cannot be seen directly. Read Less