One of the better books on "judging" a sacrifice is "The Art of Sacrifice" by Rudolph Spielmann, even though it is a bit dated (1935).
In a "non-gain" sacrifice, one doesn't really think of compensation. Instead, the mentality is, "can I get a winning attack?" Normally, the sacrifice is large enough so that if you don't win by attack, you will lose the game on material. So most sacrifices involve either an immediate "mating attack," or at least a "king hunt," whereby the king is forced into the center of the board. In one notable game (against Rubenstein), Spielmann sacrificed a whole rook for a king hunt, and won with a mating attack of queen and rook against queen and two rooks, because the enemy king was totally exposed.
Other sacrifices can occur when your opponent has most of his pieces on say, the queen side, and you outnumber in the vicinity of his king say, five pieces to two. In that case, the priority is to remove the two pieces so that the remaining three can administer checkmate. In that case, it might be worth sacrificing a rook, or even a queen for a key defending knight; after that loss, the opposing king is helpless against your remaining pieces.
An exception to the rule about compensation occurred after a "classic" sacrifice of a bishop for the h pawn. Spielmann also captured the g pawn, and eventually the f pawn fell, so he had three pawns for the piece, enough "compensation." Eventually the Black king was driven to the queen side, where it was in the way of his other pieces, and Spielmann could win by queening his "passed" h pawn; with the "crowding" of Black's pieces on the opposite side more than compensating for his piece advantage.