Scientific Computing and Visualisation
Accelerating astronomy. Maximising the scientific return from data.
Modern astronomy is a petascale enterprise. High performance computing applications in astronomy are enabling complex simulations with many billions of particles, while the forthcoming generation of telescopes will collect data at rates in excess of terabytes per day. The immensity of the data demands new approaches and techniques to ensure that standard analysis tasks can be accomplished at all, let alone in reasonable time. Indeed, many of the basic techniques used to analyse, interpret, and explore data will be pushed beyond their breaking points. New approaches are required now, including harnessing novel technologies such as graphics processing units (GPUs) for massively parallel computation, in order to prepare for this large data paradigm shift.
Our research vision is to enhance and accelerate the process of discovery in astronomy through the adoption of novel e-technologies, with an emphasis on overcoming the data analysis and visualisation challenges posed by the impending petascale astronomy data era.
Of particular note are the group's contributions to advancements in:
- three-dimensional visualisation: the process of turning data into computer-generated images, which can be explored interactively, and analyzed quantitatively;
- adoption of advanced computing architectures: the application of new computing architectures, particularly GPUs, to accelerate simulation and analysis; and
- novel e-technologies: the use of large-format tiled displays and gesture-based input devices to enhance presentation, exploration and comprehension of data, and the dissemination of interactive visualisations via 3D-PDF.
We have also transferred our approach to astronomy visualisation to explore and understand the three-dimensional structures of nano-scale surfaces.
|A/Prof Christopher Fluke||Faculty||web page|
|Giorgos Vernardos||PhD student||web page|
|George Bekiaris||PhD student||web page|
|Bernard Meade||Masters student|
|Vanya Boshkovikj||Masters student|
|Dr Ben Barsdell||Harvard Center for Astrophysics|
|Dr Amr Hassan||Swinburne University||web page|
|Collaborators and Affiliates|
|Dr David Barnes||Monash University||web page|
|Nick Bate||Sydney University||web page|
|A/Prof Darren Croton||Faculty||web page|
|A/Prof Jarrod Hurley||Faculty||web page|
|Prof Matthew Bailes||Faculty||web page|
|Prof Karl Glazebrook||Faculty||web page|
|Dr Willem van Straten||Faculty||web page|
|Prof Elena Ivanova||Faculty||web page|
|Prof Russell Crawford||Faculty||web page|
The Scientific Computing and Visualisation group makes extensive use of the following facilities:
- Swinburne Green II supercomputer - gSTAR and swinSTAR [link]
- Swinburne High Definition Virtual Reality Theatre
Research Topics and Key Publications
S2PLOT: an advanced, interactive 3-d graphics programming library, with free, open source support for creating 3D-PDF digital publications.
- Download, install and start visualising [link]
- Barnes, D.G., Fluke, C.J., Bourke, P.D., Parry, O.T., 2006, An Advanced, Three-Dimensional Plotting Library for Astronomy, PASA, 23, 82 [link]
- Barnes, D.G., Fluke, C.J., 2008, Incorporating interactive 3-dimensional graphics in astronomy research papers, NewA, 13, 599 [link]
GPU-based volume rendering of multi-spectral astronomical data: using GPUs as a fast, powerful processing tool for visualising multi-dimensional data from next generation facilities such as the Australian SKA Pathfinder.
- Hassan, A., Fluke, C.J., 2011, Scientific Visualization in Astronomy: Towards the Petascale Astronomy Era, PASA, 28, 150 [link]
- Hassan, A.H., Fluke, C.J., Barnes, D.G., Kilborn, V.A., 2013, Tera-scale astronomical data analysis and visualization, MNRAS, 429, 2442 [link]
- Hassan, A.H., Fluke, C.J., Barnes, D.G., 2011, Interactive Visualisation of the Largest Radioastronomy Cubes, NewA, 16, 100 [link]
Algorithm analysis for advanced architectures: an understanding of the atomic algorithms of astronomy is leading to improvements in the way future multi- and many-core architectures are used in astrophysical supercomputing.
- Barsdell, B.R., Barnes, D.G., Fluke, C.J., 2010, Analysing Astronomy Algorithms for GPUs and Beyond, MNRAS, 408, 1936 [link]
- Fluke, C.J., Barnes, D.G., Barsdell, B.R., Hassan, A.H., 2011, Astrophysical Supercomputing with GPUs: Critical Decisions for Early Adopters, PASA, 28, 15 [link]
- Barsdell, B.R., Bailes, M., Barnes, D.G., Fluke, C.J., Accelerating incoherent dedispersion, MNRAS, 422, 379 [link]
GPU-based Gravitational Microlensing: an application area benefitting from the use of GPUs for computation.
- The GERLUMPH project [link].
- Vernardos, G., Fluke, C.J., 2013, A new parameter space study of cosmological microlensing, MNRAS, 434, 832 [link]
- Thompson, A.C., Fluke, C.J., Barnes, D.G., Barsdell, B.R. 2010, Teraflop per second gravitational lensing ray-shooting using graphics processing units, NewA, 15, 16 [link]
- Bate, N.F., Fluke, C.J., 2012, A Graphics Processing Unit-enabled, High-resolution Cosmological Microlensing Parameter Survey, ApJ, 744, 90 [link]
Biomaterial visualisation: new approaches to visualisation of nano-scaled structures, including the process of bacterial attachment.
- Truong, V.K., Rundell, S., Lapovok, R., Estrin, Y., Wang, J.Y., Berndt, C.C., Barnes, D., Fluke, C.J., Crawford, R.J., Ivanova, E.P. 2009, Effect of ultrafine-grained titanium surfaces on adhesion of bacteria, AppMB, 83, 925 [link]
- Ivanova, E., Truong, V.K., Wang, J., Bendt, C., Jones, R., Schmidt, H., Yusuf, I., Peak, I., Fluke, C., Barnes, D., Crawford, R., 2010, Impact of Nanoscale Roughness of Titanium Thin Films Surfaces on Bacterial Retention, Langmuir, 26, 1973 [link]
- Pogodin, S., Hasan, J., Baulin, V.A., Webb, H.K., Truong, V.K., Phong Nguyen, T.H., Boshkovikj, V., Fluke, C.J., Waston, G.S., Watson, J.A., Crawford, R.J., Ivanova, E.P., 2013, Biophysical model of bacterial cell interactions with nanopatterned cicada wing surfaces, BioJ, 104, 835 [link]