Tropical cyclones (TCs) are among the most destructive weather systems. Realistically and efficiently detecting and tracking TCs are critical for assessing their impacts and risks. Recently, a multilevel robustness framework has been introduced to study the critical points of time-varying vector fields. The framework quantifies the robustness of critical points across varying neighborhoods. By relating the multilevel robustness with critical point tracking, the framework has demonstrated its potential in cyclone tracking. An advantage is that it identifies cyclonic features using only 2D wind vector fields, which is encouraging as most tracking algorithms require multiple dynamic and thermodynamic variables at different altitudes. A disadvantage is that the framework does not scale well computationally for datasets containing a large number of cyclones. This paper introduces a topologically robust physics-informed tracking framework (TROPHY) for TC tracking. The main idea is to integrate physical knowledge of TC to drastically improve the computational efficiency of multilevel robustness framework for large-scale climate datasets. First, during preprocessing, we propose a physics-informed feature selection strategy to filter 90% of critical points that are short-lived and have low stability, thus preserving good candidates for TC tracking. Second, during in-processing, we impose constraints during the multilevel robustness computation to focus only on physics-informed neighborhoods of TCs. We apply TROPHY to 30 years of 2D wind fields from reanalysis data in ERA5 and generate a number of TC tracks. In comparison with the observed tracks, we demonstrate that TROPHY can capture TC characteristics that are comparable to and sometimes even better than a well-validated TC tracking algorithm that requires multiple dynamic and thermodynamic scalar fields.
We present a neural network approach to compute stream functions, which are scalar functions with gradients orthogonal to a given vector field. As a result, isosurfaces of the stream function extract stream surfaces, which can be visualized to analyze flow features. Our approach takes a vector field as input and trains an implicit neural representation to learn a stream function for that vector field. The network learns to map input coordinates to a stream function value by minimizing the inner product of the gradient of the neural network's output and the vector field. Since stream function solutions may not be unique, we give optional constraints for the network to learn particular stream functions of interest. Specifically, we introduce regularizing loss functions that can optionally be used to generate stream function solutions whose stream surfaces follow the flow field's curvature, or that can learn a stream function that includes a stream surface passing through a seeding rake. We also discuss considerations for properly visualizing the trained implicit network and extracting artifact-free surfaces. We compare our results with other implicit solutions and present qualitative and quantitative results for several synthetic and simulated vector fields.
* Accepted and presented at PVIS2023 in Seoul, South Korea
Scene representation networks (SRNs) have been recently proposed for compression and visualization of scientific data. However, state-of-the-art SRNs do not adapt the allocation of available network parameters to the complex features found in scientific data, leading to a loss in reconstruction quality. We address this shortcoming with an adaptively placed multi-grid SRN (APMGSRN) and propose a domain decomposition training and inference technique for accelerated parallel training on multi-GPU systems. We also release an open-source neural volume rendering application that allows plug-and-play rendering with any PyTorch-based SRN. Our proposed APMGSRN architecture uses multiple spatially adaptive feature grids that learn where to be placed within the domain to dynamically allocate more neural network resources where error is high in the volume, improving state-of-the-art reconstruction accuracy of SRNs for scientific data without requiring expensive octree refining, pruning, and traversal like previous adaptive models. In our domain decomposition approach for representing large-scale data, we train an set of APMGSRNs in parallel on separate bricks of the volume to reduce training time while avoiding overhead necessary for an out-of-core solution for volumes too large to fit in GPU memory. After training, the lightweight SRNs are used for realtime neural volume rendering in our open-source renderer, where arbitrary view angles and transfer functions can be explored. A copy of this paper, all code, all models used in our experiments, and all supplemental materials and videos are available at https://github.com/skywolf829/APMGSRN.
Critical point tracking is a core topic in scientific visualization for understanding the dynamic behavior of time-varying vector field data. The topological notion of robustness has been introduced recently to quantify the structural stability of critical points, that is, the robustness of a critical point is the minimum amount of perturbation to the vector field necessary to cancel it. A theoretical basis has been established previously that relates critical point tracking with the notion of robustness, in particular, critical points could be tracked based on their closeness in stability, measured by robustness, instead of just distance proximities within the domain. However, in practice, the computation of classic robustness may produce artifacts when a critical point is close to the boundary of the domain; thus, we do not have a complete picture of the vector field behavior within its local neighborhood. To alleviate these issues, we introduce a multilevel robustness framework for the study of 2D time-varying vector fields. We compute the robustness of critical points across varying neighborhoods to capture the multiscale nature of the data and to mitigate the boundary effect suffered by the classic robustness computation. We demonstrate via experiments that such a new notion of robustness can be combined seamlessly with existing feature tracking algorithms to improve the visual interpretability of vector fields in terms of feature tracking, selection, and comparison for large-scale scientific simulations. We observe, for the first time, that the minimum multilevel robustness is highly correlated with physical quantities used by domain scientists in studying a real-world tropical cyclone dataset. Such observation helps to increase the physical interpretability of robustness.
We propose VDL-Surrogate, a view-dependent neural-network-latent-based surrogate model for parameter space exploration of ensemble simulations that allows high-resolution visualizations and user-specified visual mappings. Surrogate-enabled parameter space exploration allows domain scientists to preview simulation results without having to run a large number of computationally costly simulations. Limited by computational resources, however, existing surrogate models may not produce previews with sufficient resolution for visualization and analysis. To improve the efficient use of computational resources and support high-resolution exploration, we perform ray casting from different viewpoints to collect samples and produce compact latent representations. This latent encoding process reduces the cost of surrogate model training while maintaining the output quality. In the model training stage, we select viewpoints to cover the whole viewing sphere and train corresponding VDL-Surrogate models for the selected viewpoints. In the model inference stage, we predict the latent representations at previously selected viewpoints and decode the latent representations to data space. For any given viewpoint, we make interpolations over decoded data at selected viewpoints and generate visualizations with user-specified visual mappings. We show the effectiveness and efficiency of VDL-Surrogate in cosmological and ocean simulations with quantitative and qualitative evaluations. Source code is publicly available at https://github.com/trainsn/VDL-Surrogate.
* Accepted by IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
(Proc. IEEE VIS 2022)
We propose GNN-Surrogate, a graph neural network-based surrogate model to explore the parameter space of ocean climate simulations. Parameter space exploration is important for domain scientists to understand the influence of input parameters (e.g., wind stress) on the simulation output (e.g., temperature). The exploration requires scientists to exhaust the complicated parameter space by running a batch of computationally expensive simulations. Our approach improves the efficiency of parameter space exploration with a surrogate model that predicts the simulation outputs accurately and efficiently. Specifically, GNN-Surrogate predicts the output field with given simulation parameters so scientists can explore the simulation parameter space with visualizations from user-specified visual mappings. Moreover, our graph-based techniques are designed for unstructured meshes, making the exploration of simulation outputs on irregular grids efficient. For efficient training, we generate hierarchical graphs and use adaptive resolutions. We give quantitative and qualitative evaluations on the MPAS-Ocean simulation to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of GNN-Surrogate. Source code is publicly available at https://github.com/trainsn/GNN-Surrogate.
* Accepted by TVCG Special Issue on the 2022 IEEE Pacific Visualization
We explore an online learning reinforcement learning (RL) paradigm for optimizing parallel particle tracing performance in distributed-memory systems. Our method combines three novel components: (1) a workload donation model, (2) a high-order workload estimation model, and (3) a communication cost model, to optimize the performance of data-parallel particle tracing dynamically. First, we design an RL-based workload donation model. Our workload donation model monitors the workload of processes and creates RL agents to donate particles and data blocks from high-workload processes to low-workload processes to minimize the execution time. The agents learn the donation strategy on-the-fly based on reward and cost functions. The reward and cost functions are designed to consider the processes' workload change and the data transfer cost for every donation action. Second, we propose an online workload estimation model, in order to help our RL model estimate the workload distribution of processes in future computations. Third, we design the communication cost model that considers both block and particle data exchange costs, helping the agents make effective decisions with minimized communication cost. We demonstrate that our algorithm adapts to different flow behaviors in large-scale fluid dynamics, ocean, and weather simulation data. Our algorithm improves parallel particle tracing performance in terms of parallel efficiency, load balance, and costs of I/O and communication for evaluations up to 16,384 processors.
* Under Review at IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer
We propose InSituNet, a deep learning based surrogate model to support parameter space exploration for ensemble simulations that are visualized in situ. In situ visualization, generating visualizations at simulation time, is becoming prevalent in handling large-scale simulations because of the I/O and storage constraints. However, in situ visualization approaches limit the flexibility of post-hoc exploration because the raw simulation data are no longer available. Although multiple image-based approaches have been proposed to mitigate this limitation, those approaches lack the ability to explore the simulation parameters. Our approach allows flexible exploration of parameter space for large-scale ensemble simulations by taking advantage of the recent advances in deep learning. Specifically, we design InSituNet as a convolutional regression model to learn the mapping from the simulation and visualization parameters to the visualization results. With the trained model, users can generate new images for different simulation parameters under various visualization settings, which enables in-depth analysis of the underlying ensemble simulations. We demonstrate the effectiveness of InSituNet in combustion, cosmology, and ocean simulations through quantitative and qualitative evaluations.
Facial landmark localization is a very crucial step in numerous face related applications, such as face recognition, facial pose estimation, face image synthesis, etc. However, previous competitions on facial landmark localization (i.e., the 300-W, 300-VW and Menpo challenges) aim to predict 68-point landmarks, which are incompetent to depict the structure of facial components. In order to overcome this problem, we construct a challenging dataset, named JD-landmark. Each image is manually annotated with 106-point landmarks. This dataset covers large variations on pose and expression, which brings a lot of difficulties to predict accurate landmarks. We hold a 106-point facial landmark localization competition1 on this dataset in conjunction with IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME) 2019. The purpose of this competition is to discover effective and robust facial landmark localization approaches.