Focus Challenge 6

Making Simulation and Visualization Pervasive

The future availability of simulations and their interactive visual representations from anywhere at any time and in varying contexts will create new opportunities in daily life. Such software applications will run concurrently on a wide range of mobile devices, from smartphones and augmented-reality head-mounted displays to embedded microprocessors in automotive systems. However, users do not want to deal with the complexity of the underlying software and the hardware setup. They rather demand intuitive interfaces to steer their simulations and appropriate visual abstractions to analyze the results.

Therefore, it will become even more important to keep the human in the loop as we advance and broaden the use of simulation by data integration. This pervasive support is key to our research visions. It will facilitate informed on-demand decisions about Engineered Geosystems; it will let us model and simulate human interaction and cognition, as envisioned for the Digital Human Model; and it sets the stage for a virtual lab for Next-Generation Virtual Materials Design to review design modifications on engineered structures in-place and in real time.

Achieving this will require mastering the methodological foundations of pervasive simulation, which range from data handling to its human-centered aspects relating to human-computer interaction and visual interfaces. 

The challenge will be to:

  1. run simulations efficiently on resource-limited mobile devices with widely varying performance characteristics;
  2. guarantee real-time availability of simulations and data by appropriate communication and synchronization between mobile devices, other computing hardware, and sensors;
  3. realize a user-centered perspective on data-integrated simulation science by supporting the human in the loop with user adaptation and cognitive modeling; and
  4. facilitate immersive visual exploration and interaction as a natural way of pervasive
    visualization.

This Focus Challenge calls for interdisciplinary research combining the following aspects: real-time capable simulation and numerical models, computing on resource-limited hardware, network communication, interactive visualization and visual analytics, human-computer interaction, augmented and virtual reality, and cognitive computing.

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