communication mediumSCCG '17: Proceedings of the 33rd Spring Conference on Computer Graphics
Multiple-run simulations are widely used for investigation of dynamic systems, where they combine varied input parameters and different kinds of outputs. In this work, we focus on a simulation type that outputs an ensemble of surfaces for each simulation run. Multiple simulation runs, in this case, result in a set of surface ensembles – a super-ensemble. We propose an advanced data model, abstract analysis tasks, and introduce an analysis workflow for the exploration of super-ensembles. To address the challenging exploration and analysis tasks, we present Super-Ensembler, a visual analytics system for analysis of data-surface collections as super-ensembles. We introduce novel aggregation methods and corresponding visualizations. The aggregation techniques reduce data complexity by either yielding a super-ensemble of a simplified data type or a conventional surface ensemble. Novel visual representations include an overview visualization for super-ensembles, 3D multi-resolution box plots, and intersection contours. Together with standard views, such as scatter plots, parallel coordinates, or histograms, they are integrated into a coordinated multiple views framework. The newly proposed methodology is developed in a close collaboration with experts from the automotive domain. We evaluate our approach by means of a case study in the context of gear transmission design. Positive feedback and reported speed-up of the analysis indicate the usefulness of the presented approach.