We describe the issues surrounding the visualization and communication of risk. Colloquially, “risk” has many meanings; we define it as a probability distribution (discrete or continuous), the entirety of which is important to be understood. While the display of uncertainty has had some measure of attention, though primarily in one dimension, the communication of risk is complicated by the difficulty for many people to accurately understand and contemplate the idea of a probability distribution to begin with, in part due to well-documented psychological biases. We review the scientific and experimental background of this subject and propose guidelines for the effective presentation of risk information, in the specific application area of transportation in a metropolitan area.

By: Donna Gresh, Léa A. Deleris, Luca Gasparini

Published in: RC25293 in 2012


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