Simulation Exploration through Immersive Parallel Planes: Preprint

Nicholas Brunhart-Lupo, Brian Bush, Kenny Gruchalla, Steve Smith

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


We present a visualization-driven simulation system that tightly couples systems dynamics simulations with an immersive virtual environment to allow analysts to rapidly develop and test hypotheses in a high-dimensional parameter space. To accomplish this, we generalize the two-dimensional parallel-coordinates statistical graphic as an immersive 'parallel-planes' visualization for multivariate time series emitted by simulations running in parallel with the visualization. In contrast to traditional parallel coordinate's mapping the multivariate dimensions onto coordinate axes represented by a series of parallel lines, we map pairs of the multivariate dimensions onto a series of parallel rectangles. As in the case of parallel coordinates, each individual observation in the dataset is mapped to a polyline whose vertices coincide with its coordinate values. Regions of the rectangles can be 'brushed' to highlight and select observations of interest: a 'slider' control allows the user to filter the observations by their time coordinate. In an immersive virtual environment, users interact with the parallel planes using a joystick that can select regions on the planes, manipulate selection, and filter time. The brushing and selection actions are used to both explore existing data as well as to launch additional simulations corresponding to the visually selected portions of the input parameter space. As soon as the new simulations complete, their resulting observations are displayed in the virtual environment. This tight feedback loop between simulation and immersive analytics accelerates users' realization of insights about the simulation and its output.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2016
EventIEEE Workshop on Immersive Analytics (IA) - Greenville, South Carolina
Duration: 19 Mar 201623 Mar 2016


ConferenceIEEE Workshop on Immersive Analytics (IA)
CityGreenville, South Carolina

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-2C00-65998


  • computer graphics
  • simulation
  • three-dimensional graphics and realism
  • virtual reality


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