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[1] T. Preußer and M. Rumpf. Anisotropic nonlinear diffusion in flow visualization. In Visualization, 1999.
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Vector field visualization is an important topic in scientific visualization. Its aim is to graphically represent field data in an intuitively understandable and precise way. Here a new approach based on anisotropic nonlinear diffusion is introduced. It enables an easy perception of flow data and serves as an appropriate scale space method for the visualization of complicated flow pattern. The approach is closely related to nonlinear diffusion methods in image analysis where images are smoothed while still retaining and enhancing edges. Here an initial noisy image is smoothed along streamlines, whereas the image is sharpened in the orthogonal direction. The method is based on a continuous model and requires the solution of a parabolic PDE problem. It is discretized only in the final implementational step. Therefore, many important qualitative aspects can already be discussed on a continuous level. Applications are shown in 2D and 3D and the provisions for flow segmentation are outlined.