Progressive Retrieval and Hierarchical Visualization of Large Remote Data

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Hans-Christian Hege
Andrei Hutanu
Ralf Kaehler
Andre Merzky
Thomas Radke
Edward Seidel
Brygg Ullmer


The size of data sets produced on remote supercomputer facilities frequently exceeds the processing capabilities of local visualization workstations. This phenomenon increasingly limits scientists when analyzing results of large-scale scientific simulations. That problem gets even more prominent in scientific collaborations, spanning large virtual organizations, working on common shared sets of data distributed in Grid environments. In the visualization community, this problem is addressed by distributing the visualization pipeline. In particular, early stages of the pipeline are executed on resources closer to the initial (remote) locations of the data sets.

This paper presents an efficient technique for placing the first two stages of the visualization pipeline (data access and data filter) onto remote resources. This is realized by exploiting the extended retrieve feature of GridFTP for flexible, high performance access to very large HDF5 files. We reduce the number of network transactions for filtering operations by utilizing a server side data processing plugin, and hence reduce latency overhead compared to GridFTP partial file access. The paper further describes the application of hierarchical rendering techniques on remote uniform data sets, which make use of the remote data

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