The new data analysis and visualization tool offers improved ease of use compared to similar tools, the researchers say, and could be readily adapted for use with existing data sets in a variety of disciplines.
The data analysis and visualization tool is a subset of the Test Matrix Tool (TMT), a multi-component system developed by GTRI for designing, executing and analyzing large-scale modeling and simulation data sets. The visualization capability offers a graphical user interface that provides both on-screen data-manipulation features like filters and the ability to see query results in the form of graphical images almost instantly.
“Data visualization supports data analysis by letting users pose data-related questions onscreen with ease and then view the answers in ways that go far beyond ordinary table formats,” said Edward Clarkson, a GTRI research scientist who is leading the data visualization work. “A picture can be worth a thousand numbers, because visualizing data in a graph allows us to see patterns that might not be apparent from purely numerical results.”
Development of the Test Matrix Tool and its components is being led by Greg Rohling, a GTRI principal research engineer. Rohling’s team developed the TMT to support modeling and simulation investigations into the effectiveness and optimization of numerous U.S. defense systems, including electronic warfare equipment used to protect military aircraft. The work is supported by the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base.
In developing a simulation test, Test Matrix Tool users can specify desired variations in input parameters using multiple data filters. The TMT system executes all possible combinations of those parameters, creating a test matrix. It then executes the simulations on a Sun/Oracle Grid Engine and stores the resulting simulation output data in a MySQL database.
At that point, TMT’s data analysis component, which includes the data visualization tool, helps users evaluate the often complex test results. By collating the test matrix input and output, the data analysis tools allow users to efficiently filter and visualize test matrix data.
The Test Matrix Tool is designed for use on personal computers. It works under the Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Some TMT capabilities, including the data analysis and visualization components, could be useful for scrutinizing information gathered in many disciplines, Clarkson said. He mentioned health care as one field where a multitude of existing data sets could be mined for new insights.
“For example, there’s an enormous amount of data out there on heart patients,” he said. “Our data tools could be used to investigate existing patient information and seek significant trends in the data.”
Clarkson explained that users would face the challenge of organizing legacy data sets into formats that the GTRI data analysis software can exploit. But that task, he added, is generally straightforward and can be performed with automated tools in many cases.
The data format required by the TMT tools, he explained, is not particularly complex. What’s needed is a standard database setup in which the information fields are organized into tabular formats. Moreover, any required metadata – special data that tell the system how to deal with a particular data set – would likely present few development issues.
Clarkson recently demonstrated the capabilities of the data analysis and visualization tool using an existing database: baseball statistics. This particular demonstration involved the use of 40 different data filters available onscreen; the TMT system allows for 300 or more such filters.
In a random query of the 46,000 National League players from the past, an onscreen graph unexpectedly revealed an interesting anomaly during the demonstration. The data indicate that players’ height and weight increased in every past decade except the 1920s and 1930s, when it stayed inexplicably flat.
“That’s the beauty of this kind of tool – it can find the unknown unknowns,” Clarkson observed. “Details show up in graphs that aren’t obvious when you’re looking at just the numbers.”
The TMT data visualization tool, he explained, bears some similarities to the data filtering features found on some websites. For example, many shopping sites let users search for products by using filters to select desired qualities such as size, color and brand name.
However, Clarkson said, TMT’s capabilities are considerably more advanced. Whereas commercial systems stop at the filtering stage, the TMT data analysis tools allow fundamental manipulation of the data. Using filters, investigators can transform the data mathematically, a process that makes unique insights and discoveries possible.
“Data analysis and visualization are great for finding many things you want to know,” Clarkson said. “But another real advantage is that they can detect what you perhaps don’t want to know – the bugs and the anomalies -- the things that just aren’t right and have to be fixed.”Research News & Publications Office
Writer: Rick Robinson
John Toon | Newswise Science News
Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter
20.08.2018 | Rice University
Metamolds: Molding a mold
20.08.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria
There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.
The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
20.08.2018 | Information Technology
20.08.2018 | Life Sciences
20.08.2018 | Information Technology