Examining Implicit Discretization in Spectral Schemes

Implicit Discretization screenshot


Two of the primary reasons rainbow color maps are considered ineffective trace back to the idea that they implicitly discretize encoded data into hue-based bands, yet no research addresses what this discretization looks like or how consistent it is across individuals. This paper presents an exploratory study designed to empirically investigate the implicit discretization of common spectral schemes and explore whether the phenomenon can be modeled by variations in lightness, chroma, and hue. Our results suggest that three commonly used rainbow color maps are implicitly discretized with consistency across individuals. The results also indicate, however, that this implicit discretization varies across different datasets, in a way that suggests the visualization community's understanding of both rainbow color maps, and more generally effective color usage, remains incomplete.



  title = {Examining Implicit Discretization in Spectral Schemes},
  author = {P. Samuel Quinan and Lace Padilla and Sarah H. Creem-Regehr and Miriah Meyer},
  journal = {Computer Graphics Forum (EuroVis '19)},
  doi = {10.1111/cgf.13695},
  volume = {38},
  number = {3},
  pages = {363-374},
  year = {2019}