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Bento Box: An Interactive and Zoomable Small Multiples Technique for Visualizing 4D Simulation Ensembles in Virtual Reality

Journal Article

Bento Box: An Interactive and Zoomable Small Multiples Technique for Visualizing 4D Simulation Ensembles in Virtual Reality. Seth Johnson, Daniel Orban, Hakizumwami Birali Runesha, Lingyu Meng, Bethany Juhnke, Arthur Erdman, Francesca Samsel, Daniel F. Keefe. Frontiers in Robotics and AI (2019) Volume 6

Abstract

We present Bento Box, a virtual reality data visualization technique and bimanual 3D user interface for exploratory analysis of 4D data ensembles. Bento Box helps scientists and engineers make detailed comparative judgments about multiple time-varying data instances that make up a data ensemble (e.g., a group of 10 parameterized simulation runs). The approach is to present an organized set of complementary volume visualizations juxtaposed in a grid arrangement, where each column visualizes a single data instance and each row provides a new view of the volume from a different perspective and/or scale. A novel bimanual interface enables users to select a sub-volume of interest to create a new row on-the-fly, scrub through time, and quickly navigate through the resulting virtual "bento box.'' The technique is evaluated through a real-world case study, supporting a team of medical device engineers and computational scientists using in-silico testing (supercomputer simulations) to redesign cardiac leads. The engineers confirmed hypotheses and developed new insights using a Bento Box visualization. An evaluation of the technical performance demonstrates that the proposed combination of data sampling strategies and clipped volume rendering is successful in displaying a juxtaposed visualization of fluid-structure-interaction simulation data (39 GB of raw data) at interactive VR frame rates.

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