Nodes on Ropes: A Comprehensive Data and Control Flow for Steering Ensemble Simulations

Jürgen Waser, Hrvoje Ribičić, Raphael Fuchs, Christian Hirsch, Benjamin Schindler, Günter Blöschl, Meister Eduard Gröller
Nodes on Ropes: A Comprehensive Data and Control Flow for Steering Ensemble Simulations
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 17(12):1872-1881, December 2011. [Paper]

Information

Abstract

Flood disasters are the most common natural risk and tremendous efforts are spent to improve their simulation and management. However, simulation-based investigation of actions that can be taken in case of flood emergencies is rarely done. This is in part due to the lack of a comprehensive framework which integrates and facilitates these efforts. In this paper, we tackle several problems which are related to steering a flood simulation. One issue is related to uncertainty. We need to account for uncertain knowledge about the environment, such as levee-breach locations. Furthermore, the steering process has to reveal how these uncertainties in the boundary conditions affect the confidence in the simulation outcome. Another important problem is that the simulation setup is often hidden in a black-box. We expose system internals and show that simulation steering can be comprehensible at the same time. This is important because the domain expert needs to be able to modify the simulation setup in order to include local knowledge and experience. In the proposed solution, users steer parameter studies through the World Lines interface to account for input uncertainties. The transport of steering information to the underlying data-flow components is handled by a novel meta-flow. The meta-flow is an extension to a standard data-flow network, comprising additional nodes and ropes to abstract parameter control. The meta-flow has a visual representation to inform the user about which control operations happen. Finally, we present the idea to use the data-flow diagram itself for visualizing steering information and simulation results. We discuss a case-study in collaboration with a domain expert who proposes different actions to protect a virtual city from imminent flooding. The key to choosing the best response strategy is the ability to compare different regions of the parameter space while retaining an understanding of what is happening inside the data-flow system.

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BibTeX

@article{Groeller_2011_NR,
  title =      "Nodes on Ropes: A Comprehensive Data and Control Flow for
               Steering Ensemble Simulations",
  author =     "J{"u}rgen  Waser and Hrvoje Ribi\v{c}i{'c} and Raphael Fuchs
               and Christian Hirsch and Benjamin Schindler and G{"u}nter
               Bl{"o}schl and Meister Eduard Gr{"o}ller",
  year =       "2011",
  abstract =   "Flood disasters are the most common natural risk and
               tremendous efforts are spent to improve their simulation and
               management. However, simulation-based investigation of
               actions that can be taken in case of flood emergencies is
               rarely done. This is in part due to the lack of a
               comprehensive framework which integrates and facilitates
               these efforts. In this paper, we tackle several problems
               which are related to steering a flood simulation. One issue
               is related to uncertainty. We need to account for uncertain
               knowledge about the environment, such as levee-breach
               locations. Furthermore, the steering process has to reveal
               how these uncertainties in the boundary conditions affect
               the confidence in the simulation outcome. Another important
               problem is that the simulation setup is often hidden in a
               black-box. We expose system internals and show that
               simulation steering can be comprehensible at the same time.
               This is important because the domain expert needs to be able
               to modify the simulation setup in order to include local
               knowledge and experience. In the proposed solution, users
               steer parameter studies through the World Lines interface to
               account for input uncertainties. The transport of steering
               information to the underlying data-flow components is
               handled by a novel meta-flow. The meta-flow is an extension
               to a standard data-flow network, comprising additional nodes
               and ropes to abstract parameter control. The meta-flow has a
               visual representation to inform the user about which control
               operations happen. Finally, we present the idea to use the
               data-flow diagram itself for visualizing steering
               information and simulation results. We discuss a case-study
               in collaboration with a domain expert who proposes different
               actions to protect a virtual city from imminent flooding.
               The key to choosing the best response strategy is the
               ability to compare different regions of the parameter space
               while retaining an understanding of what is happening inside
               the data-flow system.",
  month =      dec,
  issn =       "1077-2626",
  journal =    "IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics",
  number =     "12",
  volume =     "17",
  pages =      "1872--1881",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2011/Groeller_2011_NR/",
}