Fakultät Informatik

Visualizing Confidence in Cluster-based Ensemble Weather Forecast Analyses

 Alexander Kumpf, Bianca Tost, Marlene Baumgart*, Michael Riemer*,  Rüdiger Westermann and  Marc Rautenhaus

Department of Informatics, Technische Universität München, Germany
*Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Germany


In meteorology, cluster analysis is frequently used to determine representative trends in ensemble weather predictions in a selected spatio-temporal region, e.g., to reduce a set of ensemble members to simplify and improve their analysis. Identified clusters (i.e., groups of similar members), however, can be very sensitive to small  changes of the selected region, so that clustering results can be misleading and bias subsequent analyses. In this article, we --a team of visualization scientists and meteorologists-- deliver visual analytics solutions to analyze the sensitivity of clustering results with respect to changes of a selected region. We propose an interactive visual interface that enables simultaneous visualization of a) the variation in composition of identified clusters (i.e., their robustness), b) the variability in cluster membership for individual ensemble members, and c) the uncertainty in the spatial locations of identified trends. We demonstrate that our solution shows meteorologists how representative a clustering result is, and with respect to which changes in the selected region it becomes unstable. Furthermore, our solution helps to identify those ensemble members which stably belong to a given cluster and can thus be considered similar. In a real-world application case we show how our approach is used to analyze the clustering behavior of different regions in a forecast of ``Tropical Cyclone Karl'', guiding the user towards the cluster robustness information required for subsequent ensemble analysis.

Associated publications

Visualizing Confidence in Cluster-based Ensemble Weather Forecast Analyses
 Alexander Kumpf, Bianca Tost, Marlene Baumgart, Michael Riemer,  Rüdiger Westermann, and  Marc RautenhausIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 201x (Proc. IEEE VAST 201x) [PDF] [VIDEO][BIBTEX]



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