Out-of-core streamline visualization on large unstructured meshes

Shyh Kuang Ueng, Christopher Sikorski, Kwan-Liu Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


This paper presents an out-of-core approach for interactive streamline construction on large unstructured tetrahedral meshes containing millions of elements. The out-of-core algorithm uses an octree to partition and restructure the raw data into subsets stored into disk files for fast data retrieval. A memory management policy tailored to the streamline calculations is used such that, during the streamline construction, only a very small amount of data are brought into the main memory on demand. By carefully scheduling computation and data fetching, the overhead of reading data from the disk is significantly reduced and good memory performance results. This out-of-core algorithm makes possible interactive streamline visualization of large unstructuredgrid data sets on a single mid-range workstation with relatively low main-memory capacity: 5-15 megabytes. We also demonstrate that this approach is much more efficient than relying on virtual memory and operating system's paging algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-380
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Disk management
  • Memory management
  • Out-of-core algorithms
  • Streamline visualization, interactive techniques
  • Unstructured meshes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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