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Visual Simulation of Flow

By Arie Kaufman and Ye Zhao


Abstract. We have adopted a numerical method from computational fluid dynamics, the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM), for real-time simulation and visualization of flow and amorphous phenomena, such as clouds, smoke, fire, haze, dust, radioactive plumes, and air-borne biological or chemical agents. Unlike other approaches, LBM discretizes the micro-physics of local interactions and can handle very complex boundary conditions, such as deep urban canyons, curved walls, indoors, and dynamic boundaries of moving objects. Due to its discrete nature, LBM lends itself to multi-resolution approaches, and its computational pattern, which is similar to cellular automata, is easily parallelizable. We have accelerated LBM on commodity graphics processing units (GPUs), achieving real-time or even accelerated real-time on a single GPU or on a GPU cluster. We have implemented a 3D urban navigation system and applied it in New York City with real-time live sensor data. In addition to a pivotal application in simulation of airborne contaminants in urban environments, this approach will enable the development of other superior prediction simulation capabilities, computer graphics and games, and a novel technology for computational science and engineering.

Year: 2013
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