In the presented work, I evaluate if and how Virtual Reality (VR) technologies can be used to support researchers working in the geosciences by providing immersive, collaborative visualization systems as well as virtual tools for data analysis. Technical challenges encountered in the development of theses systems are identified and solutions for these are provided.
To enable geologists to explore large digital terrain models (DTMs) in an immersive, explorative fashion within a VR environment, a suitable terrain rendering algorithm is required. For realistic perception of planetary curvature at large viewer altitudes, spherical rendering of the surface is necessary. Furthermore, rendering must sustain interactive frame rates of about 30 frames per second to avoid sensory confusion of the user. At the same time, the data structures used for visualization should also be suitable for efficiently computing spatial properties such as height profiles or volumes in order to implement virtual analysis tools. To address these requirements, I have developed a novel terrain rendering algorithm based on tiled quadtree hierarchies using the HEALPix parametrization of a sphere. For evaluation purposes, the system is applied to a 500 GiB dataset representing the surface of Mars.
Considering the current development of inexpensive remote surveillance equipment such as quadcopters, it seems inevitable that these devices will play a major role in future disaster management applications. Virtual reality installations in disaster management headquarters which provide an immersive visualization of near-live, three-dimensional situational data could then be a valuable asset for rapid, collaborative decision making. Most terrain visualization algorithms, however, require a computationally expensive pre-processing step to construct a terrain database.
To address this problem, I present an on-the-fly pre-processing system for cartographic data. The system consists of a frontend for rendering and interaction as well as a distributed processing backend executing on a small cluster which produces tiled data in the format required by the frontend on demand. The backend employs a CUDA based algorithm on graphics cards to perform efficient conversion from cartographic standard projections to the HEALPix-based grid used by the frontend.
Measurement of spatial properties is an important step in quantifying geological phenomena. When performing these tasks in a VR environment, a suitable input device and abstraction for the interaction (a “virtual tool”) must be provided. This tool should enable the user to precisely select the location of the measurement even under a perspective projection. Furthermore, the measurement process should be accurate to the resolution of the data available and should not have a large impact on the frame rate in order to not violate interactivity requirements.
I have implemented virtual tools based on the HEALPix data structure for measurement of height profiles as well as volumes. For interaction, a ray-based picking metaphor was employed, using a virtual selection ray extending from the user’s hand holding a VR interaction device. To provide maximum accuracy, the algorithms access the quad-tree terrain database at the highest available resolution level while at the same time maintaining interactivity in rendering.
Geological faults are cracks in the earth’s crust along which a differential movement of rock volumes can be observed. Quantifying the direction and magnitude of such translations is an essential requirement in understanding earth’s geological history. For this purpose, geologists traditionally use maps in top-down projection which are cut (e.g. using image editing software) along the suspected fault trace. The two resulting pieces of the map are then translated in parallel against each other until surface features which have been cut by the fault motion come back into alignment. The amount of translation applied is then used as a hypothesis for the magnitude of the fault action. In the scope of this work it is shown, however, that performing this study in a top-down perspective can lead to the acceptance of faulty reconstructions, since the three-dimensional structure of topography is not considered.
To address this problem, I present a novel terrain deformation algorithm which allows the user to trace a fault line directly within a 3D terrain visualization system and interactively deform the terrain model while inspecting the resulting reconstruction from arbitrary perspectives. I demonstrate that the application of 3D visualization allows for a more informed interpretation of fault reconstruction hypotheses. The algorithm is implemented on graphics cards and performs real-time geometric deformation of the terrain model, guaranteeing interactivity with respect to all parameters.
Paleoceanography is the study of the prehistoric evolution of the ocean. One of the key data sources used in this research are coring experiments which provide point samples of layered sediment depositions at the ocean floor. The samples obtained in these experiments document the time-varying sediment concentrations within the ocean water at the point of measurement. The task of recovering the ocean flow patterns based on these deposition records is a challenging inverse numerical problem, however.
To support domain scientists working on this problem, I have developed a VR visualization tool to aid in the verification of model parameters by providing simultaneous visualization of experimental data from coring as well as the resulting predicted flow field obtained from numerical simulation. Earth is visualized as a globe in the VR environment with coring data being presented using a billboard rendering technique while the
time-variant flow field is indicated using Line-Integral-Convolution (LIC). To study individual sediment transport pathways and their correlation with the depositional record, interactive particle injection and real-time advection is supported.
Funkvernetzte Sensorsysteme sind heutzutage allgegenwärtig.
Sie werden sowohl in Rauchmeldern, in Raumtemperaturüberwachungen und Sicherheitssystemen eingesetzt.
Das Sensorsystem soll seine Aufgabe zuverlässig und über viele Jahre ohne Batteriewechsel erfüllen.
Durch die Vernetzung der Sensorsysteme und ihre immer komplexer werdenden Aufgaben wird die Programmierung in einer maschinennahen Sprache immer aufwändiger.
Die modellgetriebene Entwicklung erhöht die Wartbarkeit und reduziert die Entwicklungszeit wodurch im Allgemeinen die Produktqualität steigt.
In Folge der höheren Komplexität, der Abstraktion von der konkreten Hardwareplattform und den immer kürzere Produktentwicklungszeiten bleibt oft keine Zeit für Energieoptimierung, wodurch die Batterielaufzeit geringer ausfällt, als dies möglich wäre.
In dieser Arbeit werden verschiedene Ansätze vorgestellt, die es ermöglichen, bereits während der Modellierung den Stromverbrauch zu berücksichtigen und diesen zu optimieren.
Am Beispiel des inversen Pendels, einem sehr instabilen Regelungssystem, wird dazu mit Hilfe der modellgetriebenen Entwicklung eine funkvernetzte, verteilte Regelung spezifiziert.
Der aus der Spezifikation erzeugte Kode wird direkt auf den Sensorknoten ausgeführt und muß dazu performant und zuverlässig sein, um die Echtzeitanforderungen des Regelungssystems zu erfüllen, aber gleichzeitig so wenig Energie wie möglich zu verbrauchen.
m die Zuverlässigkeit der verteilten Regelung zu gewährleisten ist eine deterministische kollisionsfreie Datenübertragung über das drahtlose Kommunikationsmedium erforderlich.
Die Synchronisation ist eine weitere Voraussetzung zur Ermittlung eines konsistenten Systemzustands.
As a Software Product Line (SPL) evolves with increasing number of features and feature values, the feature correlations become extremely intricate, and the specifications of these correlations tend to be either incomplete or inconsistent with their realizations, causing misconfigurations in practice. In order to guide product configuration processes, we present a solution framework to recover complex feature correlations from existing product configurations. These correlations are further pruned automatically and validated by domain experts. During implementation, we use association mining techniques to automatically extract strong association rules as potential feature correlations. This approach is evaluated using a large-scale industrial SPL in the embedded system domain, and finally we identify a large number of complex feature correlations.
This research for this thesis was conducted to develop a framework which supports the automatic configuration of project-specific software development processes by selecting and combining different technologies: the Process Configuration Framework. The research draws attention to the problem that while the research community develops new technologies, the industrial companies continue only using their well-known ones. Because of this, technology transfer takes decades. In addition, there is the fact that there is no solution which solves all problems in a software development project. This leads to a number of technologies which need to be combined for one project.
The framework developed and explained in this research mainly addresses those problems by building a bridge between research and industry as well as by supporting software companies during the selection of the most appropriate technologies combined in a software process. The technology transformation gap is filled by a repository of (new) technologies which are used as a foundation of the Process Configuration Framework. The process is configured by providing SPEM process pattern for each technology, so that the companies can build their process by plugging into each other.
The technologies of the repository were specified in a schema including a technology model, context model, and an impact model. With context and impact it is possible to provide information about a technology, for example, its benefits to quality, cost or schedule. The offering of the process pattern as output of the Process Configuration Framework is performed in several stages:
I Technology Ranking:
1 Ranking based on Application Domain, Project & Impact
2 Ranking based on Environment
3 Ranking based on Static Context
II Technology Combination:
4 Creation of all possible Technology Chains
5 Restriction of the Technology Chains
6 Ranking based on Static and Dynamic Context
7 Extension of the Chains by Quality Assurance
III Process Configuration:
8 Process Component Diagram
9 Extension of the Process Component Diagram
10 Instantiation of the Components by Technologies of the Technology Chain
11 Providing process patterns
12 Creation of the process based on Patterns
The effectiveness and quality of the Process Configuration Framework have additionally been evaluated in a case study. Here, the Technology Chains manually created by experts were compared to the chains automatically created by the framework after it was configured by those experts. This comparison depicted that the framework results are similar and therefore can be used as a recommendation.
We conclude from our research that support during the configuration of a process for software projects is important especially for non-experts. This support is provided by the Process Configuration Framework developed in this research. In addition our research has shown that this framework offers a possibility to speed up the technology transformation gap between the research community and industrial companies.