Unusual Graphic Representations of Complex Data

  • Clifford A. Pickover
Part of the Frontiers of Computing Systems Research book series (FCSR, volume 1)


An informal potpourri of novel graphics techniques for signal analysis is presented. Some areas of the work are touched upon to give the reader just a flavor of an application. Additional information is in the referenced publications. In order to encourage reader involvement, computational hints and recipes for producing the figures are provided.

“Who knows what secrets of nature lay buried in the terabytes of data being generated each day by physicists studying the results of numerical simulations or the image of a distant galaxy. Given the volume and complexity of scientific data, visualization in the physical sciences has become a necessity in the modern scientific world.”

Robert Wolff


Complex Data Human Visual System Heart Sound Mitral Stenosis Speech Sound 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    C. Pickover, Spectrographic representations of globular protein breathing motions, Science, Vol. 223, p. 181 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [1]
    C. Pickover, Frequency representations of DNA sequences: Application to a bladder cancer gene, Journal of Molecular Graphics, Vol. 2, p. 50 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [1]
    C. Pickover, Novel Graphics Allow Computer Synthesis of Singing “Human” Voices, Computer Technology Review (Winter Issue), Vol. 7(16), pp. 79–89 (1988).Google Scholar
  4. [2]
    H. Wainer and D. Thissen, Graphical Data Analysis, Ann. Rev. Psychol, Vol. 32, pp. 191–241 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [3]
    E. Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Graphics Press: Connecticut (1983).Google Scholar
  6. [4]
    C. Pickover, On the use of computer generated symmetrized dotpatterns for the visual characterization of speech waveforms and other sampled data, J. Acoust. Soc. Am, Vol. 80(3), pp. 955–960 (1986).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [5]
    L. Glass, Moire effect from random dots, Nature, Vol. 223, pp. 578 (1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [6]
    C. Pickover, The use of random-dot displays in the study of biomolecular conformation, Journal of Molecular Graphics, Vol. 2, pp. 34 (1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [7]
    H. Chernoff, The use of faces to represent points in k-dimensional space graphically, J. Amer. Statist. Assoc., Vol. 68, pp. 361–367 (1973).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [8]
    C. Pickover, On the educational uses of computer-generated cartoon faces, Journal of Educational Technology Systems, Vol. 13, pp. 185–198 (1985).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [9]
    J. Bendat and R. Piersol, Measurement and Analysis of Random Data. John Wiley and Sons: New York (1966).MATHGoogle Scholar
  12. [10]
    I. Witten, Principals of Computer Speech. Academic Press: N.Y (1982).Google Scholar
  13. [11a]
    C. Pickover and M. Kubovy, Speech vectorgram, IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, Vol. 27, pp. 6774–6775 (1985)Google Scholar
  14. [11b]
    C. Pickover and M. Martin, Short-term phase characterization in dynamic signal analysis, IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, Vol. 27, pp. 6769–6771 (1985).Google Scholar
  15. [12]
    R. K. Otnes and L. Enochson, Applied Time Series Analysis, Vol I: Basic Techniques. Wiley: N.Y (1978).MATHGoogle Scholar
  16. [13]
    L. Cohen and C. Pickover, A comparison of joint time frequency distribution for speech signals, invited talk, IEEE International Conference on Circuits & Systems, Vol. 1, pp. 42–45 (1986).Google Scholar
  17. [14]
    D. H. Green, Shift-register derived patterns, In Cybernetic Serendipity, J. Reichardt (ed), Prager: New York, p. 99 (1968).Google Scholar
  18. [15]
    C. Pickover, DNA Vectorgrams: representation of cancer gene sequences as movements along a 2-D cellular lattice, IBM J. Res. Dev., Vol. 31, pp. 111–119 (1987).Google Scholar
  19. [16]
    R. Wolff, The visualization challenge in the physical sciences, Computers in Science, Vol. 2(1), pp. 16–31 (Jan./Feb., 1988).Google Scholar
  20. [17]
    H. Chernoff and M. Rizvi, Effect on classification error of random permutations of features in representing multivariate data by faces, J. Amer. Statistical Assoc., Vol. 70, pp. 548–554 (1975).MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [18]
    B. Flury and H. Riedwyl, Graphical representation of multivariate data by means of asymmetrical faces, J. Amer. Statistical Assoc., Vol. 76, pp. 757–765 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. [19]
    R. Jacob, H. Egeth and W. Bevan, The face as a data display, Human Factors, Vol. 18, pp. 189–200 (1976).Google Scholar
  23. [20]
    J. Bishop, Oncogenes, Scientific American, pp. 81–92 (March, 1982).Google Scholar
  24. [21]
    C. Holden, Oncogene linked to fruit-fly development, Science, Vol. 238, pp. 160–161 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. [22]
    E. Reddy, Nucleotide sequence analysis of the T24 human bladder carcinoma oncogene, Science, Vol. 220, pp. 1061 (1983).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. [23]
    P. Friedland and L. Kedes, Discovering the secrets of DNA, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 28, pp. 1164–1186 (1985).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. [24]
    R. Lewin, Proposal to sequence the human genome stirs debate, Science, Vol. 232, pp. 1598–1599 (1986).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. [25]
    C. Pickover, Computers, Pattern, Chaos and Beauty. St. Martin’s Press: New York (1990).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clifford A. Pickover
    • 1
  1. 1.Visualization Systems GroupIBM Thomas J. Watson Research CenterYorktown HeightsUSA

Personalised recommendations