Software algorithm visualizes large data sets

Algorithm will become an integral part of a scientist’s toolbox to answer questions about data.

Scientists have more data at their disposal than ever before -- often more than they can properly examine. But a new algorithm should make it easier for them to visualize huge data sets. And cheaper, too; software based on the algorithm can run on personal computers with as little as 2GB of RAM.

Scientists at the University of California, Davis and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory developed the algorithm over a five-year period. Based on the decades-old Morse-Smale complex, it divides, analyzes, and recombines data sets and illustrates its calculations.

The project was led by Attila Gyulassy, a UC Davis Computer Sciences graduate student, as his Ph.D. thesis. While supercomputers can now simulate physical phenomena like ocean currents and combustion, the huge amount of data they generate are nearly impossible to work with. "What is all the data good for without visualization tools that allow us to really see what is going on? We have ability to generate, but not necessarily to comprehend," explained Gyulassy's professor, Bernd Hamann, in a talk with the Industry Standard.

Gyulassy tested the algorithm on a simulation of two liquids coming together -- a data set with over a billion points on a three-dimensional grid. Running on a laptop, his software was able to analyze the information within 24 hours and illustrate aspects of the phenomena in seconds.

Hamann gives Gyulassy most of the credit. "He's really pushed this technology forward." However, he adds that more work must be done on the software before they can make it more widely available.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags research

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

The Industry Standard
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?