Visualization of Tensor Fields in Mechanics

TitleVisualization of Tensor Fields in Mechanics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHergl, Chiara, Blecha Christian, Kretzschmar Vanessa, Raith Felix, Günther Fabian, Stommel Markus, Jankowai Jochen, Hotz Ingrid, Nagel Thomas, and Scheuermann Gerik
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Keywordsscientific visualization, Visualization
AbstractAbstract Tensors are used to describe complex physical processes in many applications. Examples include the distribution of stresses in technical materials, acting forces during seismic events, or remodeling of biological tissues. While tensors encode such complex information mathematically precisely, the semantic interpretation of a tensor is challenging. Visualization can be beneficial here and is frequently used by domain experts. Typical strategies include the use of glyphs, color plots, lines, and isosurfaces. However, data complexity is nowadays accompanied by the sheer amount of data produced by large-scale simulations and adds another level of obstruction between user and data. Given the limitations of traditional methods, and the extra cognitive effort of simple methods, more advanced tensor field visualization approaches have been the focus of this work. This survey aims to provide an overview of recent research results with a strong application-oriented focus, targeting applications based on continuum mechanics, namely the fields of structural, bio-, and geomechanics. As such, the survey is complementing and extending previously published surveys. Its utility is twofold: (i) It serves as basis for the visualization community to get an overview of recent visualization techniques. (ii) It emphasizes and explains the necessity for further research for visualizations in this context.