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ENV 2006 1.1 Envisioning Information Lecture 1 Part 1: Introduction Ken Brodlie School of Computing University of Leeds.

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Presentation on theme: "ENV 2006 1.1 Envisioning Information Lecture 1 Part 1: Introduction Ken Brodlie School of Computing University of Leeds."— Presentation transcript:

1 ENV Envisioning Information Lecture 1 Part 1: Introduction Ken Brodlie School of Computing University of Leeds

2 ENV Visualization now seen as key part of modern computing High performance computing generates vast quantities of data... High resolution measurement technology likewise... –microscopes, scanners, satellites Information systems involve not only large data sets but also complex connections we need to harness our visual senses to help us understand the data … that is, to Envision Information Visualization

3 ENV Envisioning Information So where did we get the title?? Edward Tufte has written a series of books on the design of good visualizations Visit:

4 ENV What is Visualization? - a definition Where is it useful? - some applications What is the history? What tools are now available? How are we going to study it? Getting Started

5 ENV First : An Experiment You need a watch with a second-hand Without using pencil and paper (or a calculator!!), multiply 72 by 34 How long did it take? Now you need pencil and paper as well as watch Multiply 47 by 54 How long did it take? Conclusion?

6 ENV What is Visualization? Generally: –The use of computer-supported, interactive, visual representations of data to amplify cognition Card, McKinlay and Schneiderman Two branches: –Scientific Visualization –Information Visualization

7 ENV Visualization – Twin Subjects Scientific Visualization –Visualization of physical data Information Visualization –Visualization of abstract data Ozone layer around earth Automobile web site - visualizing links

8 ENV Visualization – Bridging the Gap between the Computer and the Mind Visualization Human Information Analyst Computation Resources Information Resources

9 ENV Applications - Meteorology Pressure at levels in atmosphere - illustrated by contour lines in a slice plane Generated by the Vis5D system from University of Wisconsin (now Vis5d+) Vis5d: Vis5d+ :

10 ENV Applications - Medicine From scanner data, we can visualize 3D pictures of human anatomy, using volume rendering Generated by Anatomy.TV used by our medical students to learn anatomy Look under Anatomy.TV in Library electronic resources

11 ENV Applications – Climate Prediction Simulation of 21 st century climate evolution Real-time display of results –temperature, cloud, precipitation, etc Massive ensemble of runs : distributed public-resource computing project –see to participate!

12 ENV Applications – Computational Fluid Dynamics Interface between immiscible fluids –e.g. oil / water Loops and fingers arise when mixing starts –Rayleigh-Taylor instability Simulated on ASCII Blue Pacific (Cook & Dimotakis, 2001) Interface visualized using a density isosurface

13 ENV Applications – Computational Fluid Dynamics Flow of air around a car –Vectors and particle paths illustrate flow –Coloured slice indicates pressure

14 ENV Applications – Information Networks Visualization can be applied to networks of information Chaomei Chens Pathfinder visualizations have been used to study trends in scientific research Here we see articles on terrorism, coloured by year of publication, and clustered by topic… For more on this, see:

15 ENV Applications – Integrative Biology The School is a partner in a large e-science project on Integrative Biology This involves modelling behaviour of human heart, and of cancer tumours Visualization is of electrical activity in heart, showing the spiral wave pattern that is a precursor to fibrillation

16 ENV Applications - Astronomy The Astrogrid project is building a virtual observatory Visualization is a fundamental tool in presenting star maps and in understanding relationships between observations

17 ENV Imagination or visualization, and in particular the use of diagrams, has a crucial part to play in scientific investigation. –Who said this? When? There are many examples of the use of visualization Before Computers (BC) –graph plots in 10th century –business graphics in 18th century (Playfair) –contour plots in 18th century (Halley) Visualization BC Answer: Rene Descartes, 1637

18 ENV The First Visualization This and following two pictures are taken from Brian Collins Data Visualization - Has it all been seen before? in Animation and Scientific Visualization, Academic Press

19 ENV The First Business Graphics

20 ENV The First Contour Map

21 ENV Many of the great scientists were good at visual thinking: –Leonardo da Vinci –James Clerk Maxwell –Michael Faraday –Albert Einstein This was often at the expense of verbal skills Tom West : In the Minds Eye –See also /maxwell_visual.html Maxwells clay model now in New Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge (picture by Tom West) Visual Thinkers

22 ENV visualizationFrom early days of computing, scientists have carried out numerical simulation - and looked to visualization to help understand the results. Visualization systems have evolved in four different styles - all still in use today (so not really history!) Early Computer Visualization

23 ENV Subprogram Libraries 1960 onwards Libraries of subprograms to draw graphs, contour plots … Scientists include calls to library routines from within their own code Leading examples from era were: –GHOST (UKAEA Culham) –NAG Graphics Library NAG Graphics :

24 ENV Subprogram Libraries This style continues today –NAG Graphics Library still available –vtk C++ classes provide modern version of this style Great flexibility – but need to program Application Programming Interface vtk :

25 ENV From late 1970 onwards Specialist packages allowing data to be visualized using special purpose scripting language Example: –gnuplot Less flexible, but simpler (provided commands are easy to learn!) gnuplot Interactive Packages

26 ENV Interactive Packages Matlab is a powerful system for computation and visualization –Has its own C-like language

27 ENV Interactive Packages This style continues today… R is a powerful interactive environment for statistical computation and visualization Freely available – for both linux and Windows

28 ENV Interactive Packages The popularity of spreadsheets has brought a requirement to provide visualization charts… Excel has a chart wizard to guide construction of a variety of chart types…

29 ENV Recent surge of interest in scientific visualization was sparked by an NSF report: Visualization in Scientific Computing –McCormick, de Fanti and Brown Argued that investment in high performance computing in US was wasted unless there was corresponding investment in visualization This motivated a third style of visualization system... Scientific Visualization

30 ENV From late 1980s onwards Scientific visualization seen as a sequence of simple processing steps: eg contouring –read in data –create contour lines –draw contour lines Systems provide modules implementing simple steps in a visualization pipeline Scientist uses visual programming to connect modules together Visual Programming Systems

31 ENV Visual Programming - IRIS Explorer

32 ENV Visual programming allows easy experimentation which is what one needs in visualization Examples are: –IRIS Explorer –AVS –OpenDX (grown from IBM Visualization Data Explorer) Visual Programming Systems

33 ENV Service-based Visualization The Internet era has introduced a fourth style of system – where a visualization service is delivered over the internet using Web technologies Client-side with Java applets….

34 ENV Service-based Visualization … or server side Here a form on a web page is used to make a visualization request Processed by a visualization system on server and returned to client as VRML – the Web standard for 3D graphics

35 ENV Service Based Visualization Kartoo allows you to visualize results of web searches.. See: Search for Envisioning Information

36 ENV These four phases correlate with four phases in computing generally Subprogram libraries –begun in era of batch computing Interactive packages –begun in era of interactive computing, with terminals connected to host Visual programming systems –begun in era of workstation computing, with graphical user interfaces Service-based visualization –begun in era of internet computing The Four Phases of Visualization Systems

37 ENV Sessions –10 till 12; 2 till 4 Mix of: –Lectures (10-11; 2-3) –Study sessions –Practical work –Research conference Background study Outline of the Course – Visualization Tuesdays

38 ENV Module Outline - Lectures Introduction and historical view Simple graphs Data tables – multivariate data visualization Graphs and Networks Sequences Documents; maps; software Interaction techniques Perception issues Scientific visualization –Scalar values – 1D, 2D, 3D –Flow visualization Collaborative visualization; web based visualization

39 ENV Module Outline – Study Sessions A research paper to read… A web link to follow… A case study from Edward Tufte… A request … To be presented by you as well as me!

40 ENV Simple graphs and charts: –Gnuplot, R, Excel Data tables: –Xmdvtool Scientific visualization - use of IRIS Explorer –state of art visualization system –Linux pcs –practical sessions Module Outline – Practical work

41 ENV Module Outline – Research Conference During module we shall prepare for a closing conference –Topic to be identified –Background research done –Novel idea explored –Paper submitted for critical review –Paper revised for publication –Paper presented

42 ENV There is no single course textbook The Web is of course a fundamental resource Envisioning Information –Edward Tufte Information Visualization –R. Spence – Addison-Wesley (2001) The Visualization Toolkit (3 rd edition) –W Shroeder, K Martin, W Lorensen – Kitware Inc Set of links will be maintained on a Resources page Reference Material

43 ENV To be aware of the value of visualization to gain insight into both numeric data (from science, engineering and medicine for example) … … and also non-numeric information (such as networks and documents) To understand the fundamental techniques for data visualization To appreciate design issues in visualization To be skilled in the use of a number of state of art visualization systems Objectives

44 ENV Newsgroup for my postings: –local.modules.env Newsgroup for your postings: – World Wide Web – My Home Page – World Wide Web – Module Page – Keeping in Touch

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