Adjacent versus coincident representations of geospatial uncertainty:Which promote better decisions?

in: Computers and Geosciences, 37:4 (511--520)

Abstract

3D geological models commonly built to manage natural resources are much affected by uncertainty because most of the subsurface is inaccessible to direct observation. Appropriate ways to intuitively visualize uncertainties are therefore critical to draw appropriate decisions. However, empirical assessments of uncertainty visualization for decision making are currently limited to two-dimensional map data, while most geological entities are either surfaces embedded in a 3D space or volumes. This paper first reviews a typical example of decision making under uncertainty, where uncertainty visualization methods can actually make a difference. This issue is illustrated on a real Middle East oil and gas reservoir, looking for the optimal location of a new appraisal well. In a second step, we propose a user study that goes beyond traditional 2D map data, using 2.5D pressure data for the purposes of well design. Our experiments study the quality of adjacent versus coincident representations of spatial uncertainty as compared to the presentation of data without uncertainty; the representations quality is assessed in terms of decision accuracy. Our study was conducted within a group of 123 graduate students specialized in geology.

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BibTeX Reference

@ARTICLE{Viard2010CG,
    author = { Viard, Thomas and Caumon, Guillaume and Levy, Bruno },
     title = { Adjacent versus coincident representations of geospatial uncertainty:Which promote better decisions? },
   journal = { Computers and Geosciences },
    volume = { 37 },
    number = { 4 },
      year = { 2011 },
     pages = { 511--520 },
       doi = { doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2010.08.004 },
  abstract = { 3D geological models commonly built to manage natural resources are much affected by uncertainty because most of the subsurface is inaccessible to direct observation. Appropriate ways to intuitively visualize uncertainties are therefore critical to draw appropriate decisions. However, empirical assessments of uncertainty visualization for decision making are currently limited to two-dimensional map data, while most geological entities are either surfaces embedded in a 3D space or volumes. This paper first reviews a typical example of decision making under uncertainty, where uncertainty visualization methods can actually make a difference. This issue is illustrated on a real Middle East oil and gas reservoir, looking for the optimal location of a new appraisal well. In a second step, we propose a user study that goes beyond traditional 2D map data, using 2.5D pressure data for the purposes of well design. Our experiments study the quality of adjacent versus coincident representations of spatial uncertainty as compared to the presentation of data without uncertainty; the representations quality is assessed in terms of decision accuracy. Our study was conducted within a group of 123 graduate students specialized in geology. }
}