Computational Science Technical Note CSTN-074


Visualising Vector Field Model Simulations

D. P. Playne and K. A. Hawick

Archived January 2009


Many scientific simulations and models are baaed upon one or more coupled field equations. Fields are often modelled as a regular mesh or grid of individual field variables where each degrees of freedom or site variable is a scalar or vector quantity. Visualising such quantities interactively can be a great aid to debugging as well as understanding and interpreting the results of numerical simulation. We review a number of different approaches and software technologies for visualising scalar and vector fields as they time-evolve in 1, 2 and 3 dimensional simulations. We present some peformance data that can be used to plan size and time scoping for simulations on present interactive visualisation computer technology. We discuss the particular merits of different approaches for dense 3-dimensional vector-field models such as the Ginzburg-Landau equation. We offer some speculations on how these techniques could be applied to simulations of other field equations.

Keywords: vector field; scalar field; visualisation; scientific simulation; Ginzburg-Landau field equation.

Full Document Text: PDF version.

Citation Information: BiBTeX database for CSTN Notes.

BiBTeX reference:

  author = {D. P. Playne and K. A. Hawick},
  title = {Visualising Vector Field Model Simulations},
  booktitle = {Proc. International Conference on Modeling, Simulation and Visualization
	Methods (MSV'09)},
  year = {2009},
  pages = {3-9},
  address = {Las Vegas, USA},
  month = {13-16 July},
  organization = {WorldComp},
  institution = {Massey University},
  timestamp = {2009.02.28}

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