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P. Mindek,  D. Kouřil,  J. Sorger,  D. Toloudis,  B. Lyons,  G. Johnson,  E. Gröller,  I. Viola (2017)

Visualization Multi-Pipeline for Communicating Biology

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IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics

Abstract

We propose a system to facilitate biology communication by developing a pipeline to support the instructional visualization of heterogeneous biological data on heterogeneous user-devices. Discoveries and concepts in biology are typically summarized with illustrations assembled manually from the interpretation and application of heterogenous data. The creation of such illustrations is time consuming, which makes it incompatible with frequent updates to the measured data as new discoveries are made. Illustrations are typically non-interactive, and when an illustration is updated, it still has to reach the user. Our system is designed to overcome these three obstacles. It supports the integration of heterogeneous datasets, reflecting the knowledge that is gained from different data sources in biology. After pre-processing the datasets, the system transforms them into visual representations as inspired by scientific illustrations. As opposed to traditional scientific illustration these representations are generated in real-time - they are interactive. The code generating the visualizations can be embedded in various software environments. To demonstrate this, we implemented both a desktop application and a remote-rendering server in which the pipeline is embedded. The remote-rendering server supports multi-threaded rendering and it is able to handle multiple users simultaneously. This scalability to different hardware environments, including multi-GPU setups, makes our system useful for efficient public dissemination of biological discoveries.

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