ViSlang: A System for Interpreted Domain-Specific Languages for Scientific Visualization

Peter Rautek, Stefan Bruckner, Meister Eduard Gröller, Markus Hadwiger
ViSlang: A System for Interpreted Domain-Specific Languages for Scientific Visualization
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 20(12):2388-2396, 2014. [Paper]

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Abstract

Researchers from many domains use scientific visualization in their daily practice. Existing implementations of algorithms usually come with a graphical user interface (high-level interface), or as software library or source code (low-level interface). In this paper we present a system that integrates domain-specific languages (DSLs) and facilitates the creation of new DSLs. DSLs provide an effective interface for domain scientists avoiding the difficulties involved with low-level interfaces and at the same time offering more flexibility than high-level interfaces. We describe the design and implementation of ViSlang, an interpreted language specifically tailored for scientific visualization. A major contribution of our design is the extensibility of the ViSlang language. Novel DSLs that are tailored to the problems of the domain can be created and integrated into ViSlang. We show that our approach can be added to existing user interfaces to increase the flexibility for expert users on demand, but at the same time does not interfere with the user experience of novice users. To demonstrate the flexibility of our approach we present new DSLs for volume processing, querying and visualization. We report the implementation effort for new DSLs and compare our approach with Matlab and Python implementations in terms of run-time performance.

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BibTeX

@article{Rautek_Peter_2014_VSA,
  title =      "ViSlang: A System for Interpreted Domain-Specific Languages
               for Scientific Visualization",
  author =     "Peter Rautek and Stefan Bruckner and Meister Eduard
               Gr{"o}ller and Markus Hadwiger",
  year =       "2014",
  abstract =   "Researchers from many domains use scientific visualization
               in their daily practice. Existing implementations of
               algorithms usually come with a graphical user interface
               (high-level interface), or as software library or source
               code (low-level interface). In this paper we present a
               system that integrates domain-specific languages (DSLs) and
               facilitates the creation of new DSLs. DSLs provide an
               effective interface for domain scientists avoiding the
               difficulties involved with low-level interfaces and at the
               same time offering more flexibility than high-level
               interfaces. We describe the design and implementation of
               ViSlang, an interpreted language specifically tailored for
               scientific visualization. A major contribution of our design
               is the extensibility of the ViSlang language. Novel DSLs
               that are tailored to the problems of the domain can be
               created and integrated into ViSlang. We show that our
               approach can be added to existing user interfaces to
               increase the flexibility for expert users on demand, but at
               the same time does not interfere with the user experience of
               novice users. To demonstrate the flexibility of our approach
               we present new DSLs for volume processing, querying and
               visualization. We report the implementation effort for new
               DSLs and compare our approach with Matlab and Python
               implementations in terms of run-time performance.",
  issn =       "1077-2626",
  journal =    "IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics",
  number =     "12",
  volume =     "20",
  pages =      "2388--2396",
  keywords =   " Volume visualization framework ,  Volume visualization,
               Domain-specific languages",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2014/Rautek_Peter_2014_VSA/",
}