A Terminology for In Situ Visualization and Analysis Systems

Hank Childs, Sean D. Ahern, James Ahrens, Andrew C. Bauer, Janine Bennett, E. Wes Bethel, Peer-Timo Bremer, Eric Brugger, Joseph Cottam, Matthieu Dorier, Soumya Dutta, Jean M. Favre, Thomas Fogal, Steffen Frey, Christoph Garth, Berk Geveci, William F. Godoy, Charles D. Hansen, Cyrus Harrison, Bernd Hentschel, Joseph Insley, Chris R. Johnson, Scott Klasky, Aaron Knoll, James Kress, Matthew Larsen, Jay Lofstead, Kwan-Liu Ma, Preeti Malakar, Jeremy Meredith, Kenneth Moreland, Paul Navrátil, Patrick O'Leary, Manish Parashar, Valerio Pascucci, John Patchett, Tom Peterka, Steve Petruzza, Norbert Podhorszki, David Pugmire, Michel Rasquin, Silvio Rizzi, David H. Rogers, Sudhanshu Sane, Franz Sauer, Robert Sisneros, Han-Wei Shen, Will Usher, Rhonda Vickery, Venkatram Vishwanath, Ingo Wald, Ruonan Wang, Gunther H. Weber, Brad Whitlock, Matthew Wolf, Hongfeng Yu, Sean B. Ziegeler

In The International Journal of High Performance Computing Applications, 2020.


The term ‘in situ processing’ has evolved over the last decade to mean both a specific strategy for visualizing and analyzing data and an umbrella term for a processing paradigm. The resulting confusion makes it difficult for visualization and analysis scientists to communicate with each other and with their stakeholders. To address this problem, a group of over 50 experts convened with the goal of standardizing terminology. This paper summarizes their findings and proposes a new terminology for describing in situ systems. An important finding from this group was that in situ systems are best described via multiple, distinct axes: integration type, proximity, access, division of execution, operation controls, and output type. This paper discusses these axes, evaluates existing systems within the axes, and explores how currently used terms relate to the axes.


  author={Hank Childs and Sean D. Ahern and James Ahrens and Andrew C. Bauer and
      Janine Bennett and E. Wes Bethel and Peer-Timo Bremer and Eric Brugger and
      Joseph Cottam and Matthieu Dorier and Soumya Dutta and Jean M. Favre and
      Thomas Fogal and Steffen Frey and Christoph Garth and Berk Geveci and William F. Godoy and
      Charles D. Hansen and Cyrus Harrison and Bernd Hentschel and Joseph Insley and
      Chris R. Johnson and Scott Klasky and Aaron Knoll and James Kress and Matthew Larsen and
      Jay Lofstead and Kwan-Liu Ma and Preeti Malakar and Jeremy Meredith and Kenneth Moreland and
      Paul Navrátil and Patrick O'Leary and Manish Parashar and Valerio Pascucci and John Patchett and
      Tom Peterka and Steve Petruzza and Norbert Podhorszki and David Pugmire and Michel Rasquin and
      Silvio Rizzi and David H. Rogers and Sudhanshu Sane and Franz Sauer and Robert Sisneros and
      Han-Wei Shen and Will Usher and Rhonda Vickery and Venkatram Vishwanath and Ingo Wald and
      Ruonan Wang and Gunther H. Weber and Brad Whitlock and Matthew Wolf and Hongfeng Yu and Sean B. Ziegeler},
  title={A terminology for in situ visualization and analysis systems},
  journal={The International Journal of High Performance Computing Applications}