Intelligent Light and FieldView

ISC Workshop on In Situ Visualization

Time step from the evolution of temporal mixing layer from initial to vortex breakdown. AVF/Leslie simulation performed using up to 131,072 cores on DOE's TITAN supercomputer. In situ processing using VisIt software delivered the images related plots and XDB files for the researchers. Time step 150,000 out of 200,000.

This summer I presented a talk called In Situ Production of Extract Databases for Visualization to the Workshop on In Situ Visualization at the ISC Conference held in Frankfurt, Germany. In situ takes workflows that have been created post hoc and executes them directly on simulation data in memory while the simulation is running. The workshop was attended by visualization experts mainly from Europe and the US and talks focused on using in situ software to address the challenges of being able to save sufficient simulation data on supercomputers.

Hank Childs from the University of Oregon, a prominent visualization expert, gave a keynote address emphasizing the importance of in situ against the backdrop of upcoming exascale machines with their diminishing memory per core and lower relative I/O bandwidth compared to today's machines. Jens Henrik Goebbert from Aachen University presented an abstraction library that simplifies in situ integration with multiple in situ infrastructures, including Libsim. Roberto Sisneros from NCSA presented work on a parameter study highlighting the importance of providing good default application settings and showed that performance for VisIt's streamline plot could be enhanced by simply improving the default settings.

My talk summarized Intelligent Light's in situ efforts with VisIt, Libsim and our extract database files (XDB). Specifically, we instrument a simulation for in situ using Libsim, which brings VisIt's capabilities into the simulation. We developed a library that efficiently writes the FieldView XDB files and added it as an export option to VisIt. The simulation uses VisIt to create surface geometry extracts, typically without making any copies of simulation data, and exports the extract as a FieldView XDB file. Tight coupling of simulation to visualization and analysis provides opportunities to perform data reductions that result in smaller, concentrated, more useful results being written out more frequently, avoiding the costs of writing and later reading large volume datasets.

​I presented results from running the AVF-LESLIE combustion code on the Titan machine at Oak Ridge National Laboratory using an in situ rendering workflow and our extract database workflow. For the rendering workflow we were able to run the code up to 131K cores and render images of slices and isosurfaces from the simulation every 5 time steps to produce a visualization of a turbulent mixing layer of 2 fluids. In another of our experiments, we extracted surface-based results, saving the geometry plus field data to our XDB format for later post-processing within FieldView. We saved XDB extracts from every 5th time step, taking around 2% of the simulation runtime. Each XDB file was over 200x smaller than the corresponding volume data file. We wrote 20 XDB files for every volume output file and the combined size of 20 XDB files was still 10x smaller than a single volume output file.

This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research under Award Number DE-SC0012449.

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Come See Us at AIAA Propulsion & Energy

AIAA Propulsion & Energy Forum is coming to Salt Lake City, Utah, July 25-27, 2016 and we'd like to see you there!

Join us in booth #206 to learn how industry leaders like you are benefiting from modern engineered CFD workflows, post-processing and visualization.

Joe Oliver, Global Sales Manager, and Mike Burklund, Applications Engineer, will be on hand to discuss your CFD work and how recent developments by Intelligent Light can help you.

In addition to our participation in the main conference and exhibit, Intelligent Light is also supporting both the Propulsion Aerodynamics Workshop and AIAA's Generation STEM education outreach event (see below).

Attending the conference? We'd like to hear about your interests, goals & challenges. We'd be happy to demonstrate FieldView and answer your questions. See you at Propulsion and Energy!

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AIAA PAW03 Workshop
The 3rd AIAA Propulsion Aerodynamics Workshop (PAW03) July 23-24, will focus on assessing the accuracy of CFD in obtaining multi-stream air breathing system performance and flow structure. Intelligent Light is committed to helping engineers efficiently work through vast and varied datasets to produce meaningful results, comparisons and insights. Intelligent Light is a proud sponsor of the PAW03 in support of this community and improved accuracy in CFD.​

We invite workshop participants and all conference attendees to visit our table outside the workshop where Mike Burklund, Applications Engineer, will be on hand to answer questions, explore ideas and demonstrate FieldView. As part of our Custom Engineered Solutions team, Mike has accumulated extensive experience designing and implementing high-throughput workflows for complex CFD.

AIAA Generation STEM
As part of our ongoing support of science and technology education, Intelligent Light will run an aerodynamics station at the AIAA Foundation's second Generation STEM event.  At Generation STEM, middle schoolers from around the Salt Lake City area will take part in a special Science Fair put on by the aerospace community.  It is the only event of its kind where the aerospace industryis interacting directly with students. The inaugural Generation Stem event in 2015 was a great success and we look forward to more success this year!
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FieldView integral to Hands on FrontFlow/blue Training

On July 1st, 2016, the Center for Research on Innovative Simulation Software at the University of Tokyo will host the seminar; "7th Practical hands on training on FrontFlow/blue" in Kobe, Japan.

The FOCUS Foundation for Computational Science and our partner VINAS, will co-host the seminar in corporation with Mizuho Information & Research Institute.

Prof. Chisachi Kato, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

The seminar will use the example case: "Acoustic noise optimization of the fan". As an attendee you will experience an entire CFD workflow from mesh generation, running the simulation, post-processing and optimization. FieldView will be employed as the post-processing tool providing an opportunity to learn how to use FieldView through valuable hands-on experience. If you are considering FieldView and wanted to have a chance to touch it, this will be a great opportunity. The seminar is free. You will be able to experience not only FieldView but also Pointwise software for mesh generation, the open source CFD solver FrontFlow/blue and optimization software. At the end of the seminar, Prof. Chisachi Kato, the development leader of FrontFlow/blue, will make the presentation.

For more information, please visit the following link (Japanese)

*This seminar requires Japanese citizenship.

Software used during the seminar:

  • Pointwise V17.3
  • FrontFlow/blue
  • FieldView 16
  • DAKOTA 6.3
  • Sculptor V3.6

東京大学生産技術研究所革新的シミュレーション研究センターの主催により、7月1日に高度計算科学研究支援センターにて「第7回クラウドコンピュータ利用 FrontFlow/blueの設計実務セミナー」が開催されます。





  • Pointwise V17.3
  • FrontFlow/blue
  • FieldView 16
  • DAKOTA 6.3
  • Sculptor V3.6
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28th International Conference on Parallel CFD held in Kobe Japan, May 9-12, 2016

28th International Conference on Parallel Computational Fluid Dynamics, May 9-13, 2016, Kobe, Japan  

Intelligent Light has been a sponsor of the Parallel CFD conference for a number of years and this year, we were the primary sponsor of the event held in Kobe, Japan.   Steve M. Legensky, our founder and general manager was invited to join large scale visualization experts Drs. Kenji Ono (Riken and Kyushu University) and Kwan Liu Ma (UC Davis) to give a plenary presentation.  On Thursday, May 12th, he addressed the attendees on "Extract-based Workflows to enable and accelerate Large Scale Production CFD".  The plenary talk following Steve was given by Dr. Eijii Shima of JAXA, long time users of our FieldView software.

"I was fortunate that Dr. Ma gave his talk on 'Visualizing Extreme-Scale CFD Simulations' the previous afternoon so that the stage was set to discuss post-processing directly from the solver code using in situ methods," commented Steve.  "Kwan Liu handles visualization on the leading edge of simulation scale, so I was proud when he referred questions about production engineering-scale workflows to me."  Steve continued with a smile, "The only downside was that the brewery tour and sake tasting came after his talk that evening and I had to lead off the next morning."  Dr. James McDonough (Univ. of Kentucky), a long time FieldView customer, not only introduced Steve at the session, but also serenaded us at the banquet on the piano!

Also at the event, Intelligent Light had an exhibit booth manned by Dr. Atsushi Toyoda, from our Asia-Pacific Technical office.  We got to meet customers and colleagues from all over the world and talk about the latest FieldView features supporting extract-based workflows (such as XDBs).  There was significant interest in integrating VisIt's libsim toolkit in their solver codes as well.  On the Friday morning after the PARCFD event, Intelligent Light held a seminar on extract-based workflows and in situ post-processing at the FOCUS facility, adjacent to the K Computer.  VINAS, Co., Ltd, our FieldView distributor in Japan co-sponsored the event with us.

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Seminar: Frankfurt, Germany - "Speed Up Production CFD Workflows with Extract-Based Post-Processing"

Still time to register!

Intelligent Light will hold a seminar in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 22, 2016, the same week as ISC HPC.

The seminar, "Speed Up Production CFD Workflows with Extract-Based Post-Processing" is designed to help those using standardized plots/reports, unsteady CFD, remote HPC computing or large data to achieve greater throughput.

Parallel computing has enabled CFD practitioners to create far more data than can be stored or accessed for post-processing and analysis, making it difficult for engineers and researchers to gain understanding via visualization, exploration and collaboration.

Mr. Steve M. Legensky, Founder and General Manager of Intelligent Light, will present techniques and customer examples that show how extract-based methods have graduated from the research realm to the production environment. 

Yves-Marie Lefebvre, FieldView Product Chief, will introduce the new HPC FieldView software that combines the power of open-source VisIt software with the ease-of-use and productivity of FieldView. He will also demonstrate a pre-release version of HPC FieldView, scheduled for release later this year.

Brad Whitlock, visualization and post-processing engineer in Intelligent Light's Applied Research Group and founding developer of VisIt will showcase our recent success applying in situ techniques to production level workflows that scale from hundreds of cores to over 130,000 cores. Brad will also represent Intelligent Light and VisIt at the ISC Workshop on In-Situ Visualization on Thursday June 23 at 9AM.

This seminar will be held from 9:30 to 12:30 on Wednesday, June 22 at the Mercure Hotel Frankfurt Airport and will be followed by a complementary lunch.

If you are interested in participating, want more information about the seminar or HPC FieldView, simply send an email to  We will be happy to provide details and answer your questions.

There is no charge for participation, but be sure to reply soon as space is limited.

We look forward to seeing you in Frankfurt.

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