Team Alice

Overall Objectives
Scientific Foundations
Application Domains
New Results
Contracts and Grants with Industry
Other Grants and Activities

Section: Application Domains

Keywords : Volume Visualization, Large Models, Graphic Clusters, Oil exploration, Plasma, Molecular dynamics, Numerical mock-ups.

Scientific visualization

Participants : Fabien Boutantin, Luc Buatois, Laurent Castanié, Xavier Cavin, Christophe Mion, Nicolas Ray, Rodrigo Toledo.

Figure 3. Our applications in oil exploration (A), plasma physics (B), molecular dynamics (C) and design (D)

Besides developping new solutions for Geometry Processing and Numerical Light Simulation, we aim at applying those solutions to real-size scientific and industrial problems. In this context, Scientific Visualization is our main applications domain. With the advances in acquisition techniques, the size of the data sets to be processed increases faster than Moore's law, and represents a scientific and technical challenge. To ensure that our processing and visualization algorithms scale-up, we develop a combination of algorithmic, software and hardware architectures. These developments started initially with our implementation of a parallel solver for the radiosity equation on the multi-processor Origin 3000 [3] and the associated visualization solutions [9] . With the evolution of computer hardware, clusters have appeared as an interesting alternative to multi-processor mainframes. We recently developped a visualization cluster based on this type of architecture [15] .

These developments permits our Geometry Processing and Light Simulation solutions to scale-up, and handle real-scale data from other research and industry domains. The following applications are developed within the CRVHP Program (Calcul Réseaux Visualisation Hautes Performances - Computing, Networks, High-Performance Visualization). This program includes more than twenty Research Institutions and Industrial Companies and is supported by the ``Contrat de Plan État-Région Lorraine''.


This application domain is lead by the Gocad consortium, created by Prof. Mallet. The consortium involves 48 universities and most of the major Oil and Gas companies. ALICE contributes to Gocad with numerical geometry and visualization algorithms for oil and gas engineering. The currently explored domains are complex and dynamic structural models construction, extremely large sismic volumes exploration, and drilling evaluation and planning. The solutions that we develop are transferred to the industry with Earth Decision Sciences .


The computation of turbulent thermal diffusivities in fusion plasmas is of prime importance since the energy confinement time is determined by these transport coefficients. An original approach is developed to study trapped ion instability. A Vlasov code is used to determine the behavior of the instability near the threshold and compare with analytical solutions of the Vlasov equation. Some interesting features which appear in the nonlinear regime are explored thanks to a specialized module of the Graphite library (in cooperation with LPMI-CNRS and CEA ).

Molecular dynamics

Protein docking is a fundamental biological process that links two proteins. This link is typically defined by an interaction between two large zones of the protein boundaries. Visualizing such an interface is useful to understand the process thanks to 3D protein structures, to estimate the quality of docking simulation results, and to classify interactions in order to predict docking affinity between classes of interacting zones. Our developments take place in the VMD software (in cooperation with eDAM and the Beckmann Institute at University of Illinois).

Numerical mock-ups

Computed images and immersive visualization systems are used to design and evaluate virtual products in the aircraft and car industry. In this application, the CAD models used are extremely large and the images have to be computed from an accurate physically-based simulation process. Other developments are experimented with the car industry on an application of distant visualization and immersive virtual reality (in cooperation with VSP-Technology ).


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