Vaishali Dhanoa, Conny Walchshofer, Andreas Hinterreiter, Meister Eduard Gröller, Marc Streit
Fuzzy Spreadsheet: Understanding and Exploring Uncertainties in Tabular Calculations
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics:1-15, October 2021. [Image] [Paper]

Information

  • Publication Type: Journal Paper (without talk)
  • Workgroup(s)/Project(s):
  • Date: October 2021
  • DOI: 10.1109/TVCG.2021.3119212
  • Journal: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
  • Open Access: yes
  • Pages (from): 1
  • Pages (to): 15

Abstract

Spreadsheet-based tools provide a simple yet effective way of calculating values, which makes them the number-one choice for building and formalizing simple models for budget planning and many other applications. A cell in a spreadsheet holds one specific value and gives a discrete, overprecise view of the underlying model. Therefore, spreadsheets are of limited use when investigating the inherent uncertainties of such models and answering what-if questions. Existing extensions typically require a complex modeling process that cannot easily be embedded in a tabular layout. In Fuzzy Spreadsheet, a cell can hold and display a distribution of values. This integrated uncertainty-handling immediately conveys sensitivity and robustness information. The fuzzification of the cells enables calculations not only with precise values but also with distributions, and probabilities. We conservatively added and carefully crafted visuals to maintain the look and feel of a traditional spreadsheet while facilitating what-if analyses. Given a user-specified reference cell, Fuzzy Spreadsheet automatically extracts and visualizes contextually relevant information, such as impact, uncertainty, and degree of neighborhood, for the selected and related cells. To evaluate its usability and the perceived mental effort required, we conducted a user study. The results show that our approach outperforms traditional spreadsheets in terms of answer correctness, response time, and perceived mental effort in almost all tasks tested.

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BibTeX

@article{Dhanoa_2021,
  title =      "Fuzzy Spreadsheet: Understanding and Exploring Uncertainties
               in Tabular Calculations ",
  author =     "Vaishali  Dhanoa and Conny Walchshofer and Andreas
               Hinterreiter and Meister Eduard Gr\"{o}ller and Marc Streit",
  year =       "2021",
  abstract =   "Spreadsheet-based tools provide a simple yet effective way
               of calculating values, which makes them the number-one
               choice for building and formalizing simple models for budget
               planning and many other applications. A cell in a
               spreadsheet holds one specific value and gives a discrete,
               overprecise view of the underlying model. Therefore,
               spreadsheets are of limited use when investigating the
               inherent uncertainties of such models and answering what-if
               questions. Existing extensions typically require a complex
               modeling process that cannot easily be embedded in a tabular
               layout. In Fuzzy Spreadsheet, a cell can hold and display a
               distribution of values. This integrated uncertainty-handling
               immediately conveys sensitivity and robustness information.
               The fuzzification of the cells enables calculations not only
               with precise values but also with distributions, and
               probabilities. We conservatively added and carefully crafted
               visuals to maintain the look and feel of a traditional
               spreadsheet while facilitating what-if analyses. Given a
               user-specified reference cell, Fuzzy Spreadsheet
               automatically extracts and visualizes contextually relevant
               information, such as impact, uncertainty, and degree of
               neighborhood, for the selected and related cells. To
               evaluate its usability and the perceived mental effort
               required, we conducted a user study. The results show that
               our approach outperforms traditional spreadsheets in terms
               of answer correctness, response time, and perceived mental
               effort in almost all tasks tested. ",
  month =      oct,
  doi =        "10.1109/TVCG.2021.3119212 ",
  journal =    "IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics",
  pages =      "1--15",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2021/Dhanoa_2021/",
}