R. Fuchs, R. Peikert, H. Hauser, F. Sadlo, P. Muigg:

Parallel Vectors Criteria for Unsteady Flow Vortices

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 615–626, 2008.


Feature-based flow visualization is naturally dependent on feature extraction. To extract flow features, often higher order properties of the flow data are used such as the Jacobian or curvature properties, implicitly describing the flow features in terms of their inherent flow characteristics (for example, collinear flow and vorticity vectors). In this paper, we present recent research that leads to the (not really surprising) conclusion that feature extraction algorithms need to be extended to a time-dependent analysis framework (in terms of time derivatives) when dealing with unsteady flow data. Accordingly, we present two extensions of the parallel-vectors-based vortex extraction criteria to the time-dependent domain and show the improvements of feature-based flow visualization in comparison to the steady versions of this extraction algorithm both in the context of a high-resolution data set, that is, a simulation specifically designed to evaluate our new approach and for a real-world data set from a concrete application.

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