Fundamental Research


The point-based visual analytics engine (Viscore) started as an expedition into the emerging challenges of BIG-DATA analytics over a decade ago when data from large-scale sensor networks, parallel and distributed simulations, and data synthesis efforts started creating a proverbial data tsunami. Viscore’s objective was and is to stay as close as possible to the original 1D, 2D, 3D, nD data assets, while allowing for seamless, on-demand data synthesis and visual analytics. A point-centric data model in combination with out-of-core, adaptive and progressive rendering techniques (visual and acoustic) are at the core of this approach allowing data to be quickly accessed, fused, rendered, and analyzed, while observing quality of service and resource constraints.

The point-based visual analytics approach lends itself to a broad range of science and engineering data challenges generating discrete, surface, volumetric, and temporal, structured or unstructured data assets. From a rendering perspective, Viscore is agnostic as to where the data originate and can be broadly applied for scientifically anchored story telling. That said, the unique strength is the translational research focus that combines our expertise in engineering and computer and data science with that of subject matter experts to explore new frontiers. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, its research foundation has always been informed by enabling new means for scientific hypothesis development.

Viscore supports efforts to explore and document vulnerable historical and cultural sites across the globe, including heritage sites in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Italy, and marine ecosystems in the Pacific and Atlantic. Viscore has transported researchers to coral reefs, shipwrecks, underwater caves, and ancient Maya ruins, has aided in digitally preserving archaeological sites and historically significant buildings, and has enabled the assessment of at-risk national and international infrastructure and life-lines in the face of extreme events such as earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, and tsunamis. It has also been used to study the human brain and explore molecular and atomistic scale bio-medical data across a broad range of applied research domains.

Collaborators at national and international universities, federal and state organizations such as NPS, NOAA, NIST, USACE, ONR, CALTrans, CALFire are among the current Viscore partners, providing application-drivers.

Initial funding for Viscore was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under award #DGE-0966375, “Training, Research and Education in Engineering for Cultural Heritage Diagnostics,” and award #CNS-1338192, “MRI: Development of Advanced Visualization Instrumentation for the Collaborative Exploration of Big Data.”

Lead Developer: Vid Petrovic

PI: Falko Kuester