Publication Abstract

Bringing Topology-Based Flow Visualization to the Application Domain

Laramee, R., Chen, G., Jankun-Kelly, M., Zhang, E., & Thompson, D. (2009). Bringing Topology-Based Flow Visualization to the Application Domain. Topology-Based Methods in Visualization. Berlin: Springer.


The visualization community is currently witnessing strong advances in topology-based flow visualization research. Numerous algorithms have been proposed since the introduction of this class of approaches in 1989. Yet despite the many advances in the field, topology-based flow visualization methods have, until now, failed to penetrate industry. Application domain experts are still, in general, not using topological analysis and visualization in daily practice.We present a range of state-of-the art topology-based flow visualization methods such as vortex core line extraction, singularity and separatrix extraction, and periodic orbit extraction techniques, and apply them to real-world data sets. Applications include the visualization of engine simulation data such as in-cylinder flow, cooling jacket flow, as well as flow around a spinning missile. The novel application of periodic orbit extraction to the boundary surface of a cooling jacket is presented. Based on our experiences, we then describe what we believe needs to be done in order to bring topological flow visualization methods to industry-level software applications. We believe this discussion will inspire useful directions for future work.