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3D visualization of uncertainty in archaeological reconstructions using Bayesian probabilities

Reboulaki Anastasia

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Year 2020
Type of Item Diploma Work
Bibliographic Citation Anastasia Reboulaki, "3D visualization of uncertainty in archaeological reconstructions using Bayesian probabilities", Diploma Work, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2020
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For many years, archaeologists have been criticizing the often too-realistic appearance of three-dimensional reconstructions. This work aims to explore, describe, quantify, and visualize uncertainty in a cultural informatics context, especially on archaeological reconstructions. By uncertainty we define an archaeological expert’s level of confidence in an interpretation of how an archaeological site was in the past.Firstly, through the design, distribution, and analysis of a questionnaire, the thesis identifies the importance of uncertainty in archaeological interpretation and discovers potential preferences among different evidence types. Secondly, the thesis analyses and evaluates, in relation to archaeological uncertainty, a belief quantification model. The thesis examines another way to evaluate the belief of archaeologists in a reconstruction, by using the Dirichlet distribution. Thirdly, multiple uncertainty levels visualized, related to how an archaeological structure may have existed in the past, at the same time, based on dynamically uncertainty calculations, bringing the element of the archaeologist’s uncertainty in the visualization. Moreover, in a single 3D archaeological reconstruction, we could also differentiate through diverse visualization the reconstructed parts for which there is strong evidence that they existed as visualized, as opposed to the ones that there is less evidence and knowledge about their past form. The novelty of this project is based on the fact that we incorporate the element of archaeological uncertainty in a 3D reconstruction of a past archeological structure, now in ruins, as opposed to the monolithic view of current 3D archaeological reconstructions which offer mainly ‘pretty’ images and a single visualization of the past. This work used as a case study the Palace of Zakros located in Crete, Greece, studying three points of interest for uncertainty.

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