The State of the Art in Topology-Based Visualization of Unsteady Flow
Vector fields are a common concept for the representation of many different kinds of flow phenomena in science and engineering. Methods based on vector field topology are known for their convenience for visualizing and analysing steady flows, but a counterpart for unsteady flows is still missing. However, a lot of good and relevant work aiming at such a solution is available. We give an overview of previous research leading towards topology-based and topology-inspired visualization of unsteady flow, pointing out the different approaches and methodologies involved as well as their relation to each other, taking classical (i.e. steady) vector field topology as our starting point. Particularly, we focus on Lagrangian methods, space–time domain approaches, local methods and stochastic and multifield approaches. Furthermore, we illustrate our review with practical examples for the different approaches.