Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zurich


Flow-Induced Inertial Steady Vector Field Topology

T. Günther, M. Gross

Proceedings of Eurographics (Lyon, France, April 24-28, 2017), Computer Graphics Forum, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 143-152


Traditionally, vector field visualization is concerned with 2D and 3D flows. Yet, many concepts can be extended to general dynamical systems, including the higher-dimensional problem of modeling the motion of finite-sized objects in fluids. In the steady case, the trajectories of these so-called inertial particles appear as tangent curves of a 4D or 6D vector field. These higher-dimensional flows are difficult to map to lower-dimensional spaces, which makes their visualization a challenging problem. We focus on vector field topology, which allows scientists to study asymptotic particle behavior. As recent work on the 2D case has shown, both extraction and classification of isolated critical points depend on the underlying particle model. In this paper, we aim for a model-independent classification technique, which we apply to two different particle models in not only 2D, but also 3D cases. We show that the classification can be done by performing an eigenanalysis of the spatial derivatives’ velocity subspace of the higher-dimensional 4D or 6D flow. We construct glyphs that depict not only the types of critical points, but also encode the directional information given by the eigenvectors. We show that the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the inertial phase space have sufficient symmetries and structure so that they can be depicted in 2D or 3D, instead of 4D or 6D.


Download Paper
Download Paper
[PDF suppl.]
Download Video
Download Paper