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Pre-Cognitive Processing: The Creation and Data Mining of 3D Visual Databases

James Kevin Dirstein¹, Paul Ihring², Stano Hroncek², Alistair J. Stanley¹, and Nabil Tnacheri³
¹1Total Depth Pty Ltd, Subiaco, WA, Australia
²GeoProxima Pty. Ltd., Australia
³Seisnetics Pty. Ltd., Australia


Visualization, perception and the cognitive process are inexorably linked. While many visualization techniques and strategies greatly enhance our mental abilities, others can be more confusing than they are useful.

Since our eyes and brain are the main organs involved in the process of visualization and cognition, an understanding of their function should help develop more effective ways of enhancing our cognitive capabilities. While many of us would like to believe that we see a complete and detailed picture of the world, this notion is completely incorrect (O'Regan 1992). For example our eyes collect image information via a non-uniform distribution of about 100 million receptors. Since the optic nerve linking the eyes to the brain, has about 1 million fibers, only a small fraction of this information becomes available for cognitive processes. The act of perception follows both bottom-up and top-down processes occurring simultaneously in different parts of the brain (Ware, 2008). Bottom-up processing is information driven, searching visual input progressively for features, patterns and objects. Top-down processing is more focused on a specific goal. While the brain is a massive parallel processing system creating complex patterns from features, only a few objects can be worked with at any one time. This very limited visual working memory is the main limitation that visualization techniques are developed to help overcome. Both top-down and bottom-up processing can be very powerful but tend to ignore most of the available information along with any significant information that this information may contain. Moreover, developing a perception of reality based on top-down processing can be very biased towards the goals we are trying to achieve.

From research in cognitive science we believe that our impression of the world actually consists of only small fragments of information that is obtained on more of an "as needed" basis, this knowledge helps to develop techniques that provide more insights into large datasets (O'Regan 1992).

The commercialized techniques demonstrated in the oral presentation use automated pre-interpretation processing techniques to create visual databases of virtually all the peak and trough surfaces (Dirstein and Fallon, 2011) and also their morphometric properties (Dirstein et. al., 2013). Software tools allow users to create guided queries to these databases based on single or multiple criteria. Thereby enabling the user to visualize features and patterns as well as extract objects from both small and large data volumes.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90206 © AAPG Hedberg Conference, Interpretation Visualization in the Petroleum Industry, Houston, Texas, June 1-4, 2014