VisIt users can now generate FieldView XDB files directly from VisIt scientific visualization software. VisIt is highly scalable, open source visualization software developed by the US Department of Energy. Intelligent Light is working under a DOE SBIR to provide a robust, hardened version of VisIt for engineering applications. VisIt includes libsim which is a powerful tool that can be used in support of in-situ post-processing and visualization. XDB files are generated rather than volume files for interrogation using FieldView. XDBs help accelerate the CFD workflow also allowing researchers and engineers to ask more sophisticated questions by running more cases at higher fidelity. These improved studies can increase accuracy and confidence and lead to new insights.
Researchers and engineers working on leadership class HPC systems use VisIt to work with the large datasets that result. VisIt is built for these ultra-scalable systems, is free of licensing cost at any processor count, and is well suited for work where post-processing takes place as the simulations are run. Writing out FieldView XDB files from Visit in an interactive session or from libsim in-situ provides persistent extract files which can then be used with FieldView software and archived in compact form for later use. Leading users are already using the XDB export capability with in-situ post-processing. FieldView XDB files are a fraction of the size of the original volume data yet retain full numerical fidelity. When used with FieldView they enable both the interactive exploration of unsteady simulation data and the ready transfer of data. FieldView is built for engineering productivity delivering powerful and accessible tools for CFD and supporting investments in high capacity, interactive and automated workflows. This combination bridges the gap between expert users in research domains and engineering experts wishing to use HPC and in-situ post-processing in production environments.
Using XDBs to accelerate the VisIt workflow also allows researchers and engineers to ask more sophisticated questions by running more cases at higher fidelity. These improved studies can increase accuracy and confidence and lead to new insights.
This is a significant milestone in the development and integration of VisIt with the engineering tools in FieldView that users depend on. Intelligent Light’s development was performed largely by Brad Whitlock, a member of our Applied Research Group. Brad is a long-time VisIt developer, formerly working for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Several advanced FieldView users are already using XDBs generated in VisIt. This functionality is delivered in the VisIt 2.8 release for all users and will be supported through normal VisIt support channels. FieldView users will also be supported through their existing Intelligent Light support programs.
Learn more about how FieldView XDBs are being used as part of a data management and productivity solution:
This real world example uses analysis from the AIAA High Lift Drag Prediction Workshop simulations to show how XDB files enable wholly new levels of productivity for CFD. The work was performed on a remotely located Cray XE6 system and reviewed locally. The improvements in overall throughput can be even higher with VisIt running on the HPC systems and delivering the XDB files directly, without writing out large intermediate files. The work discussed in the paper is was recognized by IDC with their HPC Innovation Excellence Award.
VisIt information and downloads at the Visit Software Home Page