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Title: Representing archaeological uncertainty in cultural informatics
Author: Sifniotis, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 3226
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis sets out to explore, describe, quantify, and visualise uncertainty in a cultural informatics context, with a focus on archaeological reconstructions. For quite some time, archaeologists and heritage experts have been criticising the often toorealistic appearance of three-dimensional reconstructions. They have been highlighting one of the unique features of archaeology: the information we have on our heritage will always be incomplete. This incompleteness should be reflected in digitised reconstructions of the past. This criticism is the driving force behind this thesis. The research examines archaeological theory and inferential process and provides insight into computer visualisation. It describes how these two areas, of archaeology and computer graphics, have formed a useful, but often tumultuous, relationship through the years. By examining the uncertainty background of disciplines such as GIS, medicine, and law, the thesis postulates that archaeological visualisation, in order to mature, must move towards archaeological knowledge visualisation. Three sequential areas are proposed through this thesis for the initial exploration of archaeological uncertainty: identification, quantification and modelling. The main contributions of the thesis lie in those three areas. Firstly, through the innovative 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 uniquely analyses and evaluates, in relation to archaeological uncertainty, three different belief quantification models. The varying ways that these mathematical models work, are also evaluated through simulated experiments. Comparison of results indicates significant convergence between the models. Thirdly, a novel approach to archaeological uncertainty and evidence conflict visualisation is presented, influenced by information visualisation schemes. Lastly, suggestions for future semantic extensions to this research are presented through the design and development of new plugins to a search engine.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CC080 Analysis and interpretation of archaeological evidence