U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Familiarity Vs Trust: A Comparative Study of Domain Scientists’ Trust in Visual Analytics and Conventional Analysis Methods

Publish Date: 
Monday, August 8, 2016
Combining interactive visualization with automated analytical methods like statistics and data mining facilitates data-driven discovery. These visual analytic methods are beginning to be instantiated within mixed-initiative systems, where humans and ma- chines collaboratively influence evidence-gathering and decision-making. But an open research question is that, when domain experts analyze their data, can they completely trust the outputs and operations on the machine-side? Visualization potentially leads to a transparent analysis process, but do domain experts always trust what they see? To address these questions, we present results from the design and evaluation of a mixed-initiative, visual analytics system for biologists, focusing on analyzing the relationships between familiarity of an analysis medium and domain experts’ trust. We propose a trust-augmented design of the visual analytics system, that explicitly takes into account domain-specific tasks, conventions, and preferences. For evaluating the system, we present the results of a controlled user study with 35 biologists where we compare the variation of the level of trust across conventional and visual analytic mediums and explore the influence of familiarity and task complexity on trust. We find that despite being unfamiliar with a visual analytic medium, scientists seem to have an average level of trust that is comparable with the same in conventional analysis medium. In fact, for complex sense-making tasks, we find that the visual analytic system is able to inspire greater trust than other mediums. We summarize the implications of our findings with directions for future research on trustworthiness of visual analytic systems.
Dasgupta A, JY Lee, RE Wilson, RA Lafrance, NO Cramer, KA Cook, and SH Payne. 2016. "Familiarity Vs Trust: A Comparative Study of Domain Scientists’ Trust in Visual Analytics and Conventional Analysis Methods." IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. doi:10.1109/TVCG.2016.2598544
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