A Taxonomy of 3D Occlusion Management for Visualization
Journal article, 2008

While an important factor in depth perception, the occlusion effect in 3D environments also has a detrimental impact on tasks involving discovery, access, and spatial relation of objects in a 3D visualization. A number of interactive techniques have been developed in recent years to directly or indirectly deal with this problem using a wide range of different approaches. In this paper, we build on previous work on mapping out the problem space of 3D occlusion by defining a taxonomy of the design space of occlusion management techniques in an effort to formalize a common terminology and theoretical framework for this class of interactions. We classify a total of 50 different techniques for occlusion management using our taxonomy and then go on to analyze the results, deriving a set of five orthogonal design patterns for effective reduction of 3D occlusion. We also discuss the "gaps" in the design space, areas of the taxonomy not yet populated with existing techniques, and use these to suggest future research directions into occlusion management.

Interaction Techniques

3D Visualization

Occlusion Management



Niklas Elmqvist

Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique


Philippas Tsigas

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Networks and Systems (Chalmers)

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics

1077-2626 (ISSN)

Vol. 14 5 1095-1109

Subject Categories

Human Computer Interaction

Computer Science



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