Data Information Window

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Data Information Window Overview

The Fractal Science Kit fractal generator Data Information Window provides access to detailed information in the form of a histogram, about the distribution of data values computed during the fractal iteration. There is a separate Data Information Window for each Fractal Window. You can display the Data Information Window by executing the Data Information Window command on the View menu of the Fractal Window. The Data Information Window is automatically closed if the associated Fractal Window is closed or minimized. This window is rarely used.

Fractal Science Kit - Data Information Window

The primary use of the Data Information Window is as a debugging tool. When you are developing a program or setting fractal properties, you sometimes encounter situations where the results are not what you expect. Many times this is due to an unusual data distribution in 1 or more of the data values you are using to color the fractal. The Data Information Window lets you examine these data values so that you can better understand the results you are seeing and best utilize the data you have generated. For example, it may be that the majority of your data is clumped in a small area of the data range and could benefit from changes in the Data Normalization settings.

The Data Value control lets you select the data value to examine. Both Mandelbrot fractals and Orbital fractals have data values that can be viewed using this window. L-System fractals do not.

The data values for Mandelbrot fractals supported by the Data Information Window are:

  • Continuous Potential Magnitude
  • Trap Count
  • Trap Delta
  • Trap Index
  • Alternate 1 Value
  • Alternate 1 Index
  • Alternate 2 Value
  • Alternate 2 Index

The data values for Orbital fractals supported by the Data Information Window are:

  • Orbit Point Count
  • Orbit Point Speed
  • Orbit Point Acceleration
  • Orbit Point Attractor Index

For Mandelbrot fractals, the set of available data values are determined by the fractal properties in effect when you last generated the fractal. For example, if you activate orbit trap processing on a Mandelbrot fractal, the orbit trap data values Trap Count, Trap Delta, and Trap Index, are included in the set of available data values. For Orbital fractals, all 4 values are always available.

The Region control is used only for Mandelbrot fractals and only for those data values that are normalized (i.e., Continuous Potential Magnitude, Alternate 1 Value, and Alternate 2 Value), and where the Data Normalization Method is set to Inside/Outside Separately. In that case, Region can be set to Inside (to examine the data values inside the Mandelbrot set) or to Outside (to examine the data values outside the Mandelbrot set). Otherwise, Region is set to All and is disabled. The Mandelbrot data value Continuous Potential Magnitude can be set only to the Inside region because the Outside region is handled in a way that is not compatible with the Data Information Window.

The Scale and Power controls let you apply a scaling function to better view the data. This is useful when the data distribution is not linear. Scale can be set to one of the following functions:

  • Linear
  • Log
  • Inverted Exp
  • Root
  • Inverted Power
  • Inverted Elliptic
  • Elliptic
  • Power
  • Inverted Root
  • Exp
  • Inverted Log
  • Sigmoid
  • Inverse Sigmoid

The Linear function is the identity transformation. All of the functions, with the exception of Linear, take a Power argument which controls the strength of the function applied to each data value. Scale and Power can be applied to any of the data values.

The minimum and maximum cutoff values are given by Min Cutoff Value and Max Cutoff Value, respectively. These can be used to restrict the range of the histogram to values between the cutoff values and are given as actual data values or as a percentile (0 to 100) of the total data. For example, a Max Cutoff Value percentile value of 98 would compute the value P such that 98% of the data is less than P, and use P as the cutoff value. To use percentile values for either cutoff value, check the Use percentile (0 - 100) checkbox next to the cutoff value.

The cutoff controls are not supported for the following Mandelbrot data values:

  • Trap Count
  • Trap Delta
  • Trap Index
  • Alternate 1 Index
  • Alternate 2 Index

The Exclude data value zero checkbox is supported for 3 of the data values associated with Mandelbrot fractals: Continuous Potential Magnitude, Alternate 1 Value, and Alternate 2 Value. If the option is checked, any sample with data value equal to 0 is not included in the processing. This can be used if the value 0 indicates an exception rather than a real data value.

At the bottom of the window are a histogram and a Range indicator. The range indicator displays the range of data values found within the cutoff values. The range is a subset of the interval from Min Cutoff Value to Max Cutoff Value. The histogram displays the distribution of the selected data value, subject to the Data Information Window settings. The limits of the X axis are given by the Range indicator. The Y axis limits are 0 and 1. The histogram graph, a white dashed line, plots the percent of samples within the specified range whose value is at or below the associated X value. The histogram bars represent the relative number of samples associated with each X value.

For most of the Mandelbrot data values, the number of samples with a given value is measured against the total number of samples. However, the orbit trap data values Trap Count, Trap Delta, and Trap Index, are measured against the number of samples that are trapped instead. For Orbital data values, the number of samples with a given value is measured against the total number of samples within the visible range visited during the orbit.

Finally, the Show point selector checkbox is used to display a pair of orthogonal lines that cross at the histogram graph. The X and Y coordinates of the point of intersection are also displayed. Clicking on the histogram aligns the vertical line with the mouse position.

The settings on this page do not affect the fractal display in any way and are provided for informational purposes only.

The Close button closes the window.

The Help button opens the documentation in your browser to this page.


Copyright 2004-2019 Ross Hilbert
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