Visualization in Problem Solving Environments
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This thesis describes two problem solving environments that integrate visualization and computational tools into a high level user interface. The objective of a problem solving environment is to provide scientists with a complete, usable, and integrated set of high level facilities for solving problems in a specific domain. Integrating visualization tools with computation tools encourages scientists to think in terms of the overall task of solving a problem, not simply using the visualization to view the results of the computation. This increases their productivity by allowing them to focus on the problem at hand rather than on general computation issues.
Two problem solving environments based on this philosophy, but intended for different problem domains, are presented: VizCraft and WBCSim. VizCraft provides an integrated environment for aircraft designers working with multidimensional design spaces. The design problem currently being faced by aircraft designers, some approaches that have been taken in the past towards solving it, and how VizCraft provides a unique approach in helping the designer visualize the problem, are presented. WBCSim provides a Web-based framework for wood scientists conducting research on wood-based composite materials. It integrates legacy simulation codes with a graphical front end, an optimization tool, and a visualization tool. WBCSim serves as a prototype for the design, construction, and evaluation of larger scale problem solving (computing) environments. Several different wood-based composite material simulations are supported.
- Masters Theses