Multidimensional Data Visualization for Transportation Research and Analysis
The use of sophisticated models for the design and analysis of transportation-related systems and components is growing substantially. These models, however, generate substantial amounts of computed data that must be interpreted by the engineering designers and analysts and by transportation system planners and decision makers. To meet the needs of these communities, techniques have been developed to interpret the data in a visual form that integrates the results of detailed computations to make interpretation of critical results far easier for the analysts and decision makers. These "scientific visualization" methods are widely used in many of the applications of interest at TRACC, including computational fluid dynamics, computational structural mechanics, and, to some extent, traffic simulation and evacuation planning. Many of the commercially developed engineering analysis codes provide reasonably sophisticated visualization capabilities as part of the code.
In cases where the visualization capability is not yet fully developed, additional work is required. In the first of these
applications, TRACC collaborators are addressing this problem in the context of the traffic micro simulation code known as TRANSIMS. In a collaboration between TRACC and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, new techniques and approaches are being developed to portray the results of traffic simulations in metropolitan areas by means of TRANSIMS.