Visualizing Staggered Vector Fields
Advanced visualization has become a ubiquitous tool in science, as a way to accelerate discovery and as a productivity tool for debugging scientific software. Unfortunately, visualization tools presently lack the ability to represent edge-centered, face-centered and other types of staggered data, which arise in electromagnetic and computational fluid dynamics studies. We will attach offset metadata information to each field and augment/modify each filter in the DOE funded visualization tool VisIt. Some filters will require interpolation methods to modify the target position, other filters will require the mesh coordinates to be adjusted. We have demonstrated in VisIt a method that improves the accuracy of streamline integration by correcting the interpolation with the field offsets. The improvement removes spurious effects, such as streamline spiraling, symmetry breaking, and violation of constraints at the boundary. Full support of staggered fields will be added to VisIt across all pipelines and operators for structured meshes. Secondly, we will help the scientific community take advantage of these features, if necessary modifying their input file format and the corresponding VisIt database plug-in readers. Thirdly, we will leverage our technological know-how by developing the first commercial application that fully supports multiple types of field staggering (PerceptEM) for electromagnetic applications. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: There are three types of beneficiaries in this project. First, the large DOE community of VisIt users will be able to harness the VisIt enhancements deriving from this work, in the form of more accurate visualization that honors the data/mesh association. Secondly, the value of the commercial code VORPAL will increase after introducing our changes to the Vorpal Composer graphical user interface. This will provide a competitive advantage to VORPAL, which will result in a higher resell price and/or larger sale volume. Thirdly, we will offer the PerceptEM product on the market to satisfy the niche of accurate staggered field visualization and postprocessing. Currently, there are no competitors to PerceptEM.
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