Recent advancements in pre-trained large-scale language-image models have ushered in a new era of visual comprehension, offering a significant leap forward. These breakthroughs have proven particularly instrumental in addressing long-standing challenges that were previously daunting. Leveraging these innovative techniques, this paper tackles two well-known issues within the realm of visual analytics: (1) the efficient exploration of large-scale image datasets and identification of potential data biases within them; (2) the evaluation of image captions and steering of their generation process. On the one hand, by visually examining the captions automatically generated from language-image models for an image dataset, we gain deeper insights into the semantic underpinnings of the visual contents, unearthing data biases that may be entrenched within the dataset. On the other hand, by depicting the association between visual contents and textual captions, we expose the weaknesses of pre-trained language-image models in their captioning capability and propose an interactive interface to steer caption generation. The two parts have been coalesced into a coordinated visual analytics system, fostering mutual enrichment of visual and textual elements. We validate the effectiveness of the system with domain practitioners through concrete case studies with large-scale image datasets.
A common way to evaluate the reliability of dimensionality reduction (DR) embeddings is to quantify how well labeled classes form compact, mutually separated clusters in the embeddings. This approach is based on the assumption that the classes stay as clear clusters in the original high-dimensional space. However, in reality, this assumption can be violated; a single class can be fragmented into multiple separated clusters, and multiple classes can be merged into a single cluster. We thus cannot always assure the credibility of the evaluation using class labels. In this paper, we introduce two novel quality measures -- Label-Trustworthiness and Label-Continuity (Label-T&C) -- advancing the process of DR evaluation based on class labels. Instead of assuming that classes are well-clustered in the original space, Label-T&C work by (1) estimating the extent to which classes form clusters in the original and embedded spaces and (2) evaluating the difference between the two. A quantitative evaluation showed that Label-T&C outperform widely used DR evaluation measures (e.g., Trustworthiness and Continuity, Kullback-Leibler divergence) in terms of the accuracy in assessing how well DR embeddings preserve the cluster structure, and are also scalable. Moreover, we present case studies demonstrating that Label-T&C can be successfully used for revealing the intrinsic characteristics of DR techniques and their hyperparameters.
The ability to monitor and interpret of hardware system events and behaviors are crucial to improving the robustness and reliability of these systems, especially in a supercomputing facility. The growing complexity and scale of these systems demand an increase in monitoring data collected at multiple fidelity levels and varying temporal resolutions. In this work, we aim to build a holistic analytical system that helps make sense of such massive data, mainly the hardware logs, job logs, and environment logs collected from disparate subsystems and components of a supercomputer system. This end-to-end log analysis system, coupled with visual analytics support, allows users to glean and promptly extract supercomputer usage and error patterns at varying temporal and spatial resolutions. We use multiresolution dynamic mode decomposition (mrDMD), a technique that depicts high-dimensional data as correlated spatial-temporal variations patterns or modes, to extract variation patterns isolated at specified frequencies. Our improvements to the mrDMD algorithm help promptly reveal useful information in the massive environment log dataset, which is then associated with the processed hardware and job log datasets using our visual analytics system. Furthermore, our system can identify the usage and error patterns filtered at user, project, and subcomponent levels. We exemplify the effectiveness of our approach with two use scenarios with the Cray XC40 supercomputer.
Volume data is commonly found in many scientific disciplines, like medicine, physics, and biology. Experts rely on robust scientific visualization techniques to extract valuable insights from the data. Recent years have shown path tracing to be the preferred approach for volumetric rendering, given its high levels of realism. However, real-time volumetric path tracing often suffers from stochastic noise and long convergence times, limiting interactive exploration. In this paper, we present a novel method to enable real-time global illumination for volume data visualization. We develop Photon Field Networks -- a phase-function-aware, multi-light neural representation of indirect volumetric global illumination. The fields are trained on multi-phase photon caches that we compute a priori. Training can be done within seconds, after which the fields can be used in various rendering tasks. To showcase their potential, we develop a custom neural path tracer, with which our photon fields achieve interactive framerates even on large datasets. We conduct in-depth evaluations of the method's performance, including visual quality, stochastic noise, inference and rendering speeds, and accuracy regarding illumination and phase function awareness. Results are compared to ray marching, path tracing and photon mapping. Our findings show that Photon Field Networks can faithfully represent indirect global illumination across the phase spectrum while exhibiting less stochastic noise and rendering at a significantly faster rate than traditional methods.
Implicit Neural Representations (INRs) have recently exhibited immense potential in the field of scientific visualization for both data generation and visualization tasks. However, these representations often consist of large multi-layer perceptrons (MLPs), necessitating millions of operations for a single forward pass, consequently hindering interactive visual exploration. While reducing the size of the MLPs and employing efficient parametric encoding schemes can alleviate this issue, it compromises generalizability for unseen parameters, rendering it unsuitable for tasks such as temporal super-resolution. In this paper, we introduce HyperINR, a novel hypernetwork architecture capable of directly predicting the weights for a compact INR. By harnessing an ensemble of multiresolution hash encoding units in unison, the resulting INR attains state-of-the-art inference performance (up to 100x higher inference bandwidth) and can support interactive photo-realistic volume visualization. Additionally, by incorporating knowledge distillation, exceptional data and visualization generation quality is achieved, making our method valuable for real-time parameter exploration. We validate the effectiveness of the HyperINR architecture through a comprehensive ablation study. We showcase the versatility of HyperINR across three distinct scientific domains: novel view synthesis, temporal super-resolution of volume data, and volume rendering with dynamic global shadows. By simultaneously achieving efficiency and generalizability, HyperINR paves the way for applying INR in a wider array of scientific visualization applications.
In situ visualization and steering of computational modeling can be effectively achieved using reactive programming, which leverages temporal abstraction and data caching mechanisms to create dynamic workflows. However, implementing a temporal cache for large-scale simulations can be challenging. Implicit neural networks have proven effective in compressing large volume data. However, their application to distributed data has yet to be fully explored. In this work, we develop an implicit neural representation for distributed volume data and incorporate it into the DIVA reactive programming system. This implementation enables us to build an in situ temporal caching system with a capacity 100 times larger than previously achieved. We integrate our implementation into the Ascent infrastructure and evaluate its performance using real-world simulations.
Vision transformer (ViT) expands the success of transformer models from sequential data to images. The model decomposes an image into many smaller patches and arranges them into a sequence. Multi-head self-attentions are then applied to the sequence to learn the attention between patches. Despite many successful interpretations of transformers on sequential data, little effort has been devoted to the interpretation of ViTs, and many questions remain unanswered. For example, among the numerous attention heads, which one is more important? How strong are individual patches attending to their spatial neighbors in different heads? What attention patterns have individual heads learned? In this work, we answer these questions through a visual analytics approach. Specifically, we first identify what heads are more important in ViTs by introducing multiple pruning-based metrics. Then, we profile the spatial distribution of attention strengths between patches inside individual heads, as well as the trend of attention strengths across attention layers. Third, using an autoencoder-based learning solution, we summarize all possible attention patterns that individual heads could learn. Examining the attention strengths and patterns of the important heads, we answer why they are important. Through concrete case studies with experienced deep learning experts on multiple ViTs, we validate the effectiveness of our solution that deepens the understanding of ViTs from head importance, head attention strength, and head attention pattern.
Multivariate networks are commonly found in real-world data-driven applications. Uncovering and understanding the relations of interest in multivariate networks is not a trivial task. This paper presents a visual analytics workflow for studying multivariate networks to extract associations between different structural and semantic characteristics of the networks (e.g., what are the combinations of attributes largely relating to the density of a social network?). The workflow consists of a neural-network-based learning phase to classify the data based on the chosen input and output attributes, a dimensionality reduction and optimization phase to produce a simplified set of results for examination, and finally an interpreting phase conducted by the user through an interactive visualization interface. A key part of our design is a composite variable construction step that remodels nonlinear features obtained by neural networks into linear features that are intuitive to interpret. We demonstrate the capabilities of this workflow with multiple case studies on networks derived from social media usage and also evaluate the workflow through an expert interview.
Adversarial attacks on a convolutional neural network (CNN) -- injecting human-imperceptible perturbations into an input image -- could fool a high-performance CNN into making incorrect predictions. The success of adversarial attacks raises serious concerns about the robustness of CNNs, and prevents them from being used in safety-critical applications, such as medical diagnosis and autonomous driving. Our work introduces a visual analytics approach to understanding adversarial attacks by answering two questions: (1) which neurons are more vulnerable to attacks and (2) which image features do these vulnerable neurons capture during the prediction? For the first question, we introduce multiple perturbation-based measures to break down the attacking magnitude into individual CNN neurons and rank the neurons by their vulnerability levels. For the second, we identify image features (e.g., cat ears) that highly stimulate a user-selected neuron to augment and validate the neuron's responsibility. Furthermore, we support an interactive exploration of a large number of neurons by aiding with hierarchical clustering based on the neurons' roles in the prediction. To this end, a visual analytics system is designed to incorporate visual reasoning for interpreting adversarial attacks. We validate the effectiveness of our system through multiple case studies as well as feedback from domain experts.