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CosmoVis: An Interactive Visual Analysis Tool for Exploring Hydrodynamic Cosmological Simulations

Abramov, David and Burchett, Joseph N. and Elek, Oskar and Hummels, Cameron and Prochaska, Jason X. and Forbes, Angus G. (2022) CosmoVis: An Interactive Visual Analysis Tool for Exploring Hydrodynamic Cosmological Simulations. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 28 (8). pp. 2909-2925. ISSN 1077-2626. doi:10.1109/tvcg.2022.3159630.

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We introduce CosmoVis, an open source web-based visualization tool for the interactive analysis of massive hydrodynamic cosmological simulation data. CosmoVis was designed in close collaboration with astrophysicists to enable researchers and citizen scientists to share and explore these datasets, and to use them to investigate a range of scientific questions. CosmoVis visualizes many key gas, dark matter, and stellar attributes extracted from the source simulations, which typically consist of complex data structures multiple terabytes in size, often requiring extensive data wrangling. CosmoVis introduces a range of features to facilitate real-time analysis of these simulations, including the use of virtual skewers, simulated analogues of absorption line spectroscopy that act as spectral probes piercing the volume of gaseous cosmic medium. We explain how such synthetic spectra can be used to gain insight into the source datasets and to make functional comparisons with observational data. Furthermore, we identify the main analysis tasks that CosmoVis enables and present implementation details of the software interface and the client-server architecture. We conclude by providing details of three contemporary scientific use cases that were conducted by domain experts using the software and by documenting expert feedback from astrophysicists at different career levels.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Abramov, David0000-0003-0356-3637
Burchett, Joseph N.0000-0002-1979-2197
Elek, Oskar0000-0003-0549-3302
Hummels, Cameron0000-0002-3817-8133
Prochaska, Jason X.0000-0002-7738-6875
Forbes, Angus G.0000-0002-8700-7795
Additional Information:© 2022 IEEE. Manuscript received 8 Oct. 2021; revised 16 Feb. 2022; accepted 7 Mar. 2022. Date of publication 16 Mar. 2022; date of current version 1 July 2022. This work was supported in part by Hubble Space Telescope Archival Research awards from the Space Telescope Science Institute through Hubble Space Telescope Archival Research Award under Grant HST-AR #15790 and in part by National Science Foundation Award under Grant NSF-PHY #1748958. The Pacific Research Platform’s Nautilus HyperCluster was supported in part by NSF awards under Grants CNS-1730158, ACI-1540112, ACI-1541349, OAC-1826967, OAC-2112167, and CNS-2120019. We acknowledge the Virgo Consortium for making their simulation data available. The EAGLE simulations were performed using the DiRAC-2 facility at Durham University in the UK, managed by the ICC, and the PRACE facility CURIE, based in CEA’s Very Large Computing Centre (TGCC) in Bruyères-le-Châtel, France.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Astrovis, astrographics, cosmological simulations, astronomy, astrophysics, virtual spectrography
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220317-376234000
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Official Citation:D. Abramov, J. N. Burchett, O. Elek, C. Hummels, J. X. Prochaska and A. G. Forbes, "CosmoVis: An Interactive Visual Analysis Tool for Exploring Hydrodynamic Cosmological Simulations," in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 28, no. 8, pp. 2909-2925, 1 Aug. 2022, doi: 10.1109/TVCG.2022.3159630
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:113941
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:18 Mar 2022 20:15
Last Modified:20 Jul 2022 23:01

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