Research Objectives



Students discussing a visualization problem in front of the tiled wall

The primary research goal of this IRTG is the enhancement of scientific and information visualization techniques applied to large and unstructured data sets.

Every visualization task is based on application data. For providing these data, we integrate applications from the domain “Geospatial Planning, Modeling, and Engineering”, which produce these huge amounts of unstructured data that are of interest for the planned visualization tasks. This integration is necessary to allow a deeper understanding of the provided data due to the sharing of knowledge through the projects.

Up to now, visualization of large and structured or small and unstructured data sets is the state of the art. Large and unstructured data sets are still not very well understood, especially with respect to visualization. In order to address these questions, we define a set of projects aiming at solving these problems.

In detail, we are handling visualization problems, with respect to modeling, feature detection, and comparison tasks. For doing this, both the extension of existing techniques and the development of new ones are addressed.

In the application areas there is an increasing need to handle huge amounts of unstructured data. For example, nowadays environmental monitoring systems are capable of measuring data at a very high resolution and in a large number of frequency bands.

On the other hand, in scaled-down earthquake laboratory experiments within a centrifuge improved sensor techno­logy permits the measurement of an increased number of parameters at higher sampling rates. Finally, earthquake simulations produce more and more data because of more elaborate simu­lation techniques. These improvements in measurement technology lead to large, high-dimen­sional data sets. Visualizing them is very useful to get insights into the problems involved.

The research objectives described above are backed by parallel analyses conducted in the U.S. 

The needs for further research in the area of visualization as seen by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) are summarized as:

  • Establishing a coherent program that focuses on remote visualization. A remote visualization program should provide tools and infrastructure that can be used by multiple “virtual teams.”
  • Establishing mechanisms whereby generally applicable visualization technology is developed and deployed in a centralized fashion.
  • Developing a research program in interactive visualization with running codes that stresses the integrated design and development of coupled simulation-visualization methods.

Flow visualization, an image created using IRIS: Illustrative Rendering of Integral Surfaces

  • Establishing a research program in the areas of multi-field visualization and multi-dimensional data visualization.Establishing a research program in the area of automated data exploration for next-generation petascale datasets.
  • Significantly enhancing life science data visualization efforts, with particular emphasis upon the relationship with scientific data management.
  • Developing new programs that provide support for multiresolution representations of large datasets support for simultaneous display of data from disparate sources, support for the ability to generate and display derived values, and the ability to pose queries and display results.

Most of the needs mentioned there are addressed by the projects set up for this IRTG.

In the application areas huge amounts of data are produced either by data from field measurements like environmental observation stations, from experiments and from simulation. The data is then visualized based on improved or newly developed visualization techniques like volume modeling, feature detection and visualization, etc.

International Cooperations

The IRTG benefits from several aspects of the cooperation with our U.S. partners.

First of all the partners in the U.S. can provide huge data sets as well as advanced experimenting and simulation facilities.

Further, by integrating the students from the partner universities in the local research activities, the knowledge available at the partners’ sites will be shared. Especially the German students visiting the U.S. will get acquainted with working in international collaborations and get an insight into the advanced experimenting facilities available at our U.S. partners’ sites. This will lead to an improved understanding of how the data that serve as a basis for the advanced visualization tasks followed in this International Research Training Group are produced. The knowledge available in this field will benefit the improvement and development of adequate visualization techniques.

The application fields will give different views on and different types of data. Thus, the visualization techniques developed can be tested against different requirements. On the other hand, the application areas will benefit from improved and adapted visualization techniques.