Steering and Visualization of Electromagnetic Simulations Using Globus

  • Erik Engquist
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computational Science and Engineering book series (LNCSE, volume 13)


A framework for computational steering of a finite difference code for electromagnetic simulation has been developed and implemented. In computational steering, we need to develop software that allows the user to enter an interactive visualization or VR environment and from there control the computation.

A proof of concept implementation has been carried out using an existing code for 3D finite difference time domain approximation of Maxwell’s equations. Large parts of the computational steering software are general, but details in the choice of control variables and visualization is specialized to the electromagnetics code.

To handle the large computational requirements of both simulation and visualization, the system can be distributed across multiple machines. This is possible through the use of the Globus toolkit for communication, data handling, and resource co-allocation. This program also makes use of VTK for data filtering and the generation of visualization elements, and IRIS Performer with pfCAVELib for 3D interactive rendering on CAVE compatible devices.

Two test cases are presented. In one example with a smaller number of computational cells, full computational steering with recomputation is possible. In another with a large number of computational cells, the solution is precomputed and only the visualization is interactive. The scalability of the computational code is tested for different computers in order to determine the size of the problem that can be handled with full computational steering on the available local hardware.


Interactive Visualization Computational Code Electromagnetic Simulation Globus Toolkit Triangle Strip 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    U. Andersson and G. Ledfelt. Large-scale FD-TD: A billion cells. 15th Annual Review of Progress in Applied Computational Electromagnetics, 1:572–577, March 1999.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    G. Eckel. IRIS Performer Programmer’s Guide. Silicon Graphics, 1997.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. Engström. Visualization of CFD computations. Master’s thesis, Center for Parallel Computers, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, 1998.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    I. Foster and N. Karonis. A grid-enabled MPI: Message passing in heterogeneous distributed computing systems. In SC’98 Proceedings. ACM Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    I. Foster, C. Kesselman, R. Olson, and S. Tuecke. Nexus: An interoperability toolkit for parallel and distributed computer systems. Technical report, Mathematics and Computer Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 1993.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Ihrén and K. Frisch. The fully immersive cave. In 3rd International Immersive Projection Technology Workshop, pages 59–64, May 1999.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    D. Pape. pfCAVE CAVE/Performer Library (CAVELib Version 2.6). Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago, March 1997.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    P. Rajlich, R. Stein, and R. Heiland. vtkActorToPF. <>
  9. 9.
    W. Schroeder, K. Martin, and B. Lorensen. The Visualization Toolkit: An Object-Oriented Approach To 3D Graphics. Prentice Hall, 1997.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    A. Taflove. Computational Electromagnetics: The Finite Difference Time-Domain Metod. Artech House, Norwood, MA, 1995.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    K. S. Yee. Numerical solution of initial boundary value problems involving Maxwell’s equations in isotropic media. IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat., 14(3):302–307, March 1966.ADSzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Engquist
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Numerical Analysis and Computing ScienceRoyal Institute of TechnologySweden

Personalised recommendations