B05 – Visual Analysis of adaptive and lightweight structures

B: System technology and design

Project B05 aims to research novel visualization and interaction techniques.

Funding Phase I

The research of B05 allows other projects to perform a faster analysis of generated data and gain new or better insights. This shall make the answering of questions that arise during the creation of a methodology for adaptive structures easier.

To that end, the project addresses the following research questions:

  • Considering existing processes and proven metaphors, which specialised techniques are suitable for an actual or abstract visualization of adaptive structures?
  • Which visualization methods are useful for the analysis of data generated by simulations and for the evaluation of designed structures?
  • How can mechanical, thermal and acoustic states be visualized in a single, integrated approach? This visualization should include structural integrity, which is influenced by external elements.
  • What kind of representations are suitable for a combined analysis of data both inside and on the surface of structures?
  • How can the developed simulation methods be reduced?

The mechanical, thermal and acoustic states of an adaptive and lightweight structure require visualization in an integrated approach. To support a comprehensive and interactive visual analysis, the individual visualizations will be tightly coupled. In the beginning, the results of simulations are visualized using known approaches for displaying geometry meshes, as well as scalar and vector fields. To help with the analysis of simulations and the evaluation of designed structures, new techniques for the visualization of the generated data are developed.

At the same time, a suitable representation for the combined analysis of data both inside and on the surface of structures has to be found. In order to manage large amounts of varieties and high-dimensional parameter spaces, new individual approaches, as well as combinations of these approaches, will be investigated. For a fast and comprehensive evaluation of variations of the physical elements of a building as well as different simulation methods, concepts for comparative visualizations have to be developed.


Volume rendering of a pressure field on the VISUS Powerwall. By displaying the visualization parameters in context, the visualization can be analyzed in terms of performance and quality at the same time as the structural properties of the data set.Photo: VISUS

Left: Temperature development in two 2D spaces. The time runs from front to back, the nodes are representatives for the respective cluster, the thickness of the connecting line represents a correlation measure. Right: Temporal similarity matrix for direct display Photo: VISUS

Photo: VISUS

Visualization of heat buoyancy using simulated green ink flowing into the hot red plate

A selection of 10x4 conformations of a protein in surface view for comparison on the VISUS Powerwall


The development of such methods is based on the current state of the art of rendering and visualization. Additionally, to run the resulting tools and applications on less powerful workstations, simplifications of the methods for the visual analysis will be investigated.

Project B05 supplies the other projects with methods for interactive, visual analysis of their models and results, helping them to present, understand and validate their findings.


Subproject Leader

  • Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. techn. h.c. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Thomas Ertl, Institute for Visualisation and Interactive Systems (VIS)
  • Dr. rer. nat. Guido Reina, Visualisation Research Centre


This image shows Michael Becher

Michael Becher


Doctoral Researcher

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