Recent developments in numerical methodology for combustion simulations that effectively harness modern high-performance parallel computers can simulate reacting flows by using high-fidelity models for the underlying complex processes. However, a single run of the simulation can produce multiple terabytes of raw data that are vast in the spatial (near a billion grid points), temporal (100,000 time steps), and variable (tens of variables) domains, creating a formidable challenge for subsequent analysis and interpretation. In addition to the data set’s sheer size, the difficulty of knowledge extraction is compounded by the complexity of the turbulent flow fields and the phenomena under study, as well as by the different data types (particle and field data). To understand the dynamic mechanisms of extinction and reignition in turbulent flames, for example, scientists need intuitive and convenient ways to validate known relationships and reveal hidden ones between multiple variables. In a collaboration between the University of California, Davis and Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, our team developed interactive visualization techniques and an interface design that enable validation and improved understanding of turbulent combustion simulations, lettin
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