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Enabling multipurpose image interaction in modular visualization environments

Chatzinikos, Fotis; Wright, Helen


Fotis Chatzinikos

Helen Wright


Philip C. Chen

Robert F. Erbacher

Jonathan C. Roberts

Matti T. Groehn

Katy Boerner


Recent improvements in processor and graphics power mean researchers can now interact with their running simulation at the same time as they view the results. This so-called 'computational steering' brings greater insight to the investigation process and is even more compelling when immersed in the visual representation of the data. Visualization of pre-computed data likewise benefits if we can generate the image without the need for separate dials and sliders. This image-based interaction, both for computational steering and visualization purposes, is therefore an important goal for scientists and engineers but typically requires specialist programming of the components. This paper introduces a new architecture that enables Modular Visualization Environments (MVEs) -- general-purpose, extensible systems -- to operate in this way. Novel elements include an input-describing data structure to convey information about the simulation parameters, and proxy graphics objects that convert ordinary image geometry into interactive elements. To promote its adoption, the architecture is designed such that the usual MVE appearance is retained. Its implementation in IRIS Explorer and Open Inventor is described and three case studies are presented: two deal with computational steering, whilst the third shows how a visualization technique, the contour plot, can be modified to take advantage of image-based interaction.


Wright, H., & Chatzinikos, F. Enabling multipurpose image interaction in modular visualization environments. Paper presented at Visualization and Data Analysis 2003

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Visualization and Data Analysis 2003
Acceptance Date Jul 29, 2003
Publication Date May 30, 2003
Journal Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume 5009
Pages 203 - 214
Series Number 5009
ISBN 978-0-81944-809-5
Public URL