Views from Intelligent Light
Roger Rintala

VisIt and FieldView HPC – DOE Highlights In-Situ

Visualizing Success: SBIRs Move Software into the Field

Visualizing Success: SBIRs Moving Software into the Field

Visualizing Success: SBIRs Move Software into the Field

 

Read the DOE Case Study

 

Intelligent Light is using SBIR grants to tap the
power of VisIt, a visualization program supported in
part by the Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program in the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.

 

Intelligent Light was selected as a trusted vendor who could provide the expertise and discipline to tailor tools to industrial workflows while commercializing and hardening the government developed code.  Intelligent Light is providing industrial grade software development, engineering service and customer support to end users.

 

The project enables Intelligent Light to hold down development cost and end-user investments by utilizing open source code developed by DOE.  Moreover, the project is helping Intelligent Light customers move to in-situ post-processing years earlier than if IL had developed all of the required technology from scratch.

 

Eric Brugger and other Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists designed VisIt to visualize the mounds of simulation data DOE supercomputers generate. It’s built to scale well and it’s well suited for in situ processing.

 

“VisIt … is an open-source code, free to download and modify, as thousands of researchers have. With no licensing fees, merging VisIt into FieldView will hold
down costs for small- and medium-sized companies using it on HPC systems.”

Intelligent Light responded to a call by ASCR to harden and commercialize DOE-supported software for high performance computing applications, making the tools robust and accessible.  Working under a Phase II grant of nearly $1 million, Intelligent light is integrating VisIt into our FieldView HPC suite. The funding is from a U.S. Small Business
Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which provides capital for early research and development with commercial potential.

 

VisIt’s big-data capacity allows FieldView to handle a wider range of CFD visualization tasks. “But ‘if you want to turn it into a commercial product, you really have to spend the time to customize things to people’s workflows,’ Brugger says. ‘We’ve customized it to our workflows in the DOE community,’ but it doesn’t always fit other users workflows.”

 

ASCR recognized it needs help to move VisIt and other DOE-supported solutions for high-performance computing into commercial use. Through the SBIR program, it called
for small businesses able to take DOE codes and “shrink wrap” them into accessible tools.

 

The collaboration “shows DOE is taking its research and development and spawning new technology – which is one of our missions,” says Benjamin Grover, division leader for
Applications, Simulations, and Quality at Livermore.

 

With a Phase II grant of nearly $1 million, Intelligent Light is integrating VisIt into its FieldView HPC suite. Later this year, customers will be able to choose either the standard FieldView code or VisIt to visualize CFD data.

 

Read the DOE Case Study

Roger Rintala

Newsletter: FieldView 15 and Introducing XDBview

 

In this issue

  • XDBview logoIntroducing XDBview – The free, high performance CFD viewer
  • FieldView 15 brings more new capabilities to users
  • Greater customer responsiveness with agile software development
  • IL staff and guests at AIAA SciTech

View the archive

 

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Roger Rintala

Agile development at IL delivering greater customer responsiveness and satisfaction

Intelligent Light has made a major commitment to revamping our development process using agile development methods.  This change was made to increase our responsiveness to customer needs.

 

We look to our users to share their needs and help us set the direction for product development.  Moreover, we involve our customers in the development and testing process prior to release so we can be sure we are meeting their needs.  This direct involvement has lead to many good ideas being recognized and these ideas have improved the implementation of several new features for all.  The changes have impacted all engineering projects and the impact is already seen in FieldView 15, XDBview, and in  FieldView services projects and applied research.

 

“FieldView users from the Aerospace and Formula One industries have been key in designing both FieldView 15 and XDBview, making sure we had it right the first time”, says Yves-Marie Lefebvre, FieldView Product Chief.

 

As the goal is to increase responsiveness, the new process will help us deliver multiple releases each year, improve our adherence to schedule commitments, and enable more rapid deployment of new features and fixes.

 

“Every customer involved so far in our Agile Development Process has expressed satisfaction and the will to get involved even more,” Lefebvre continues.  “But this is just the beginning. And we’re expecting more of our users to join the movement”.

 

 

 

 

Roger Rintala

Introducing FieldView 15 and XDBview – New Capability, Presentation, and Collaboration

Introducing FieldView 15 and XDBview – New Capability, Presentation, and Collaboration

Adoption of Agile Development Practices Increases Responsiveness, Quality, and User Access

(download PDF version)

 

Rutherford, NJ, January 19, 2015 (Intelligent Light) – In support of engineers and managers whose judgment is essential to high-quality, innovative products, Intelligent Light  released FieldView Version 15  in October and has now released a new CFD viewer called XDBview.  Going beyond the limits of traditional presentation, this new FieldView release gets to the heart of elucidating and uncovering the most important patterns in the behavior of fluids and sharing these insights.

 

Truck with new colormap

New colormaps in FieldView 15 draw out flow features. In this image, enhanced luminance colormap improve perception for all audiences, including those with color perception limitations. – FieldView image by Intelligent Light, data courtesy of Navistar.

Clarity in CFD Visualization

Potent new colormaps and rapid access to multi-windows layouts help bring clarity and context to complex flow behaviors.  FieldView 15 allows users to customize their interface with user-defined colormaps and provides visibility into each colormap from the selection menus.  New colormaps with linearly varying luminance provide better insight, print well even in black & white, and remain clear even for those having trouble seeing colors.

 

“Spectrum style colormaps are commonly used for CFD results visualization but are inherently limited because they use fully saturated colors for their entire scale.  This can cause variations in lower gradient regions to be lost”, says Yves-Marie Lefebvre, FieldView Product Chief at Intelligent Light.  “To address these limitations, we decided to start promoting the use of scales linearly varying in luminance. FieldView 15 introduces new colormaps with scales that are linearly varying in luminance, providing better representations that are interpreted more easily.”

 

User response to these changes has been terrific with rapid adoption and broad appeal.  Among the new colormaps are schemes that enhance the effectiveness of presentation.  Up to 1 in 12 consumers of visual data may be limited in their color perception abilities.  The new “achromatic vision” colormaps draw out significant patterns in the data while presenting in a way that is meaningful to those with color blindness and for those with full-spectrum vision.

 

Agile Software Development Means Increased Responsiveness

This is the first software release created under Intelligent Light’s new agile development process.  Designed to be highly responsive to end-users, the process brings selected customers directly into the development process so their input benefits all users of the product.  For FieldView 15, several participating users from applications as diverse as Formula 1 to fighter jets have seen their requests implemented in prototypes along the way and are already seeing benefits.

 

Improved User Experience

FieldView multi-windows allow users to simultaneously compare multiple datasets or multiple views.  FieldView 15 adds new Layout RESTART templates for multi-windows that make it easier than ever to layout commonly used views including 3 window formats where two datasets are displayed simultaneously with the numerical comparison between them.

 

Other user-driven features in FieldView 15:

  • XDB extracts – reduce data size and speed interpretation by exporting thresholded XDB extracts
  • Users with large models will benefit from a reduced memory footprint for graphics operations.
  • An updated OpenFOAM reader improves both performance and accuracy while reducing read times.
  • New data reader for FLOW-3D version 11 brings users up to speed with FieldView parallel computation and parallel partitioned file read capabilities to dramatically reduce read in and computation times. Every FieldView license supports the use of at least 8 processor cores and FLOW-3D users will now benefit from this capability.

 

In Situ CFD a Reality with XDB Extracts Directly from Ultra Scale VisIt Software

Intelligent Light’s commitment to high throughput CFD workflows using XDB extract files supports our customers pursuing in-situ post-processing of very large, unsteady data.  In-situ  post-processing is performed directly on the solution in memory as it is generated rather than writing traditional solution or post-processing files.  Users of the ultra-scalable VisIt code are exporting persistent, compact XDBs directly from VisIt 2.8 during in-situ post-processing and using these with FieldView for high-performance interrogation and visualization.  The in-situ approach maximizes throughput and makes results available to analysts as the simulations are developing.

 

Introducing XDBview – The high-performance, free CFD viewer

The right image or animation will provide a window into fluid behaviors, but interactive exploration by consumers of CFD results increases understanding.  The ability of reviewers and collaborators to achieve insights can speed a projects development and improve decision making.  XDBview is a free viewer for XDB files that gives colleagues and entire communities the ability to review results of large simulations interactively, with FieldView performance, and without a post processing license.

 

XDBview provides:

  • Ability to review large unsteady datasets interactively at animation speed
  • Agility for on the spot what-if analysis
  • Portability – Work with your data anywhere and share your results with clients, colleagues, and managers.

 

“XDBview is bringing CFD results to the decision makers: managers, team leaders, CFD customers,” says Lefebvre.  “They can finally visualize and compare many large simulation data on their laptops, even when their results are transient.”

 

“We will use XDBview to send results to non-CFD people who don’t use FieldView.  Because we can set up their experience and views, our team members can then manipulate the data to achieve even better understanding.” – CFD Lead, Engineering & Manufacturing

 

CFD users are embracing the use of XDB files because they solve many problems related to the size and complexity of CFD data which have long made it impractical to move for post-processing and collaboration.  XDB files are compact extracts that maintain the full numerical fidelity of your CFD simulation on selected surfaces and streamlines.  XDBs are 10x to 1,000x smaller than your CFD dataset and can be easily transferred, shared and archived.  Use XDBview to efficiently share the important insights from your results.

 

About Intelligent Light

Winners of multiple HPC Innovation Excellence Awards, Intelligent Light provides industry-leading software and services that unlock the power and value of a highly productive CFD workflow for engineering and research organizations in a variety of industries around the world.  The company’s flagship FieldView™ product line is the most widely used CFD post-processing software for engineering and research, encompassing data management, workflow automation, visualization, and more. Intelligent Light’s expert staff provides production-related engineering services, while its Applied Research Group conducts pure research on the cutting edge of CFD science. With customer success its paramount goal, Intelligent Light is driving real-world solutions to the toughest challenges in CFD today.

 

 

Roger Rintala

In-Situ Post-Processing Discussion at NASA Applied Modeling & Simulation

NASA Applied Modeling & Simulation (AMS) Seminar Series to host Intelligent Light speaker on Friday, January 16, 2015. (Series info)

 

In Situ Post-Processing with VisIt, Libsim, and FieldView

Speaker: Brad Whitlock, Applied Research Group, Intelligent Light

The widening gap between compute performance and the ability to store computation results dictates that data analysis and visualization be performed in situ during simulation runs. Saving analysis results and data extracts offers tremendous opportunities for reduction in storage costs while also permitting greater access to data in the temporal domain. Libsim is a library which enables a fully-featured visualization tool, VisIt, to request data as needed from the simulation and apply visualization algorithms in situ with minimal modification to the application code. In this talk, the motivation for in situ processing is presented and the steps to instrument a simulation using Libsim are covered. Instrumenting simulation codes with Libsim opens up new possibilities for higher productivity workflows such as automatic creation of FieldView extract databases (XDBs) which can be visualized efficiently using the post-processing tool FieldView.