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Re: [SCIRUN-USERS] malloc error in ShowField module

Chronological Thread 
  • From: David Weinstein <>
  • To: Henry Kozachkov <>
  • Cc:
  • Subject: Re: [SCIRUN-USERS] malloc error in ShowField module
  • Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 16:38:30 -0600

Hi Henry,

Just out of curiosity: are you sure you want to use the ShowField module for this? Volume rendering, slicing, or isosurfacing might work out better...

ShowField will try to render all of the nodes, edges, and faces for the input field -- in your case this will be a lot of internal faces, which may not be what you want. ShowField allocates a lot of space in order to store the faces, edges, and nodes for display -- the upshot is that if you try to pass it a volume that's bigger than ~150^3, it runs out of memory (as you saw from the error message below).

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in helping you visualize your data.


David Weinstein
Technical Manager, NCRR Center
SCI Institute, University of Utah

On Jun 28, 2005, at 10:57 AM, Henry Kozachkov wrote:

I was wondering if anyone could elucidate the following error for me:

While dealing with a cropped data set of dimension ~ 500 * 500 *70, I have been experiencing "malloc" errors from the ShowField module in my visualization network. More specifically, within the SCIRun environment the module fails with an "Unspecified Error", but the command line reflects the underlying cause:

scirun> *** malloc: vm_allocate(size=536870912) failed (error code=3)
*** malloc[933]: error: Can't allocate region

In my searches of the documentation, the only similar error that I encountered dealt with the 2GB limit of a 32 bit system. However, at the time of the error, the memory utilization of the SCIRun process is only 1GB, so this seems to be inapplicable.

If it is of any use, the specifics of my system are as follows:

My specific system is a dual processor G5 2GHz with 4 GB of ram. The same problem manifested itself when the system had 1 GB of ram, and on an identical system with 2GB of ram. The installation on all of these systems was done from binaries.

Thank you in advance,

Henry Kozachkov

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