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Re: [SCIRUN-USERS] applying scirun to plasma physics?

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  • From: Paulo Tribolet Abreu <>
  • To:
  • Subject: Re: [SCIRUN-USERS] applying scirun to plasma physics?
  • Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 08:40:18 +0000


Em 22 mar 2004, às 02:44, David Weinstein escreveu:

Hi Paulo,

While SCIRun has been used for quite a bit of medical visualization, it is also being used for a variety of other application domains, including geophysics, combustion, atmospherics, and fusion just to name a few. And while it is also true that visualization is one of the areas that we are best known for at SCI, the true strength of SCIRun is as a software architecture for integrating modeling, simulation, and visualization, into a unified problem solving environment. It sounds like your application may fit quite naturally into this framework!

That is very good news! Right now, we are using IDL to process and visualize our final data, which adds another tool and another programming language to our workflow. Besides, we are only able to use IDL after the run is finished. We are also considering using VTK or OpenDX. With your answer it really looks like SCIRun might be the correct "wrapper" to all this.

Regarding plasma physics, we actually have an ongoing project callled National Fusion Collaboration (, which is funded through our Department of Energy's SciDAC program. To see some example images showing how SCIRun is being used for visualization in this project, please either visit, or go to the SCI Image gallery (, and enter "NIMROD" in the Search entry.

Great! This looks very promising!

* Do you know of efforts to use scirun to solve similar simulation problems like ours? If there are none, do you think it is feasible to create modules or in any other way to expand scirun so that it can integrate with our code -- it is in Fortran90 -- so that we have a smooth problem solving environment?

Yes, we have had considerable success in wrapping up third-party codes as SCIRun modules. A lot of it depends on the specifics of your code -- how modular it is, what granularity you want for modules, and how you want to deal with passing data around.

This is probably going to be one of the main issues. I am not one of the code developers, so I have to talk with them for this. However, I think that Osiris is very modular. It can be configured to dump intermediate results a certain simulation times and it uses HDF5 as output format, which I think can be used with SCIRun.

* How does scirun work on dual processor machines? Can scirun work in parallel, in a cluster enviroment, specially the visualisation modules?

SCIRun works great on dual processor machines (shared memory), but we do not yet have a cluster (distributed memory) implementation.

This might be an issue later (perhaps in 1 year time), but it is not now.

* We will upgrade to G5s in the next few months (probably until Summer). I noticed that "SCIRun has not been tested on G5". However, do you expect the port to be problematic? Have you had any reports of people trying to use scigrid on a G5?

We have just begun investigating this, and one of my colleagues tells me it now works. We will definitely make G5's one of the targeted platforms for our next release (probably in May).

Great, this is very important for us.

Thanks a lot for your answer. It made clear that it is worth spending time learning SCIRun and trying to use it in our project. It is a bit early to say for sure that will fit in, but I am sure that at least some weeks of effort are worth the try!


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