FY02 Plans

Project: K18505, FY02
Principal Investigator: W. Bethel
October 3, 2001

During FY99 and FY00, we developed the Visapult application as part of the NGI/Combustion Corridor effort. The resulting application was a proof-of-concept prototype that demonstrated the viability of shared, distributed and parallel rendering as applied to large scientific datasets. While this effort was successful as a proof-of-concept, the prototype software is difficult to use due to details related to the launching of its multiple, distributed components.

For FY02, we will engage in activities that focus on the transition of Visapult from a research prototype into a tool that is more readily accessible to the user community. To those ends, we will use Visapult as the reference application during development of a Visualization Web Portal, which is part of the NERSC Visualization R&D effort. The components of Visapult will be configurable and launchable from a Web interface using appropriate technology, such as Globus and Gram grid services. Insomuch as is achievable within NERSC operations policy, the Visapult back end (software volume renderer) component will be ported to NERSC hardware (SP2, PVP, T3E, Escher), and the combination of Visapult back end and these platforms will be selectable as grid-based resources.

Visapult input data sources will be configurable from the web portal interface, and will include sources from grid-enabled platform-centric filesystems, as well as the DPSS. We will interact with the Distributed and Data Intensive Group at NERSC in order to allow for configuration of the DPSS as a Visapult data source via the web portal.

Visapult will be extended algorithmically to support omniaxis viewing capabilities, and will be augmented with a user interface that provides access to the features present in the viewer. We will extend the visualization capabilities of Visapult to allow for additional scalar visualization techniques, such as isocontouring.

This project is intended to transform and extend a research prototype into a readily deployable, general purpose volume visualization tool.