Date of Award

Winter 2016

Project Type


Program or Major

Computer Science

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Colin Ware

Second Advisor

Daniel Bergeron

Third Advisor

Thomas Butkiewicz


Particle based model simulations are widely used in scientific visualization. In cosmology, particles are used to simulate the evolution of dark matter in the universe. Clusters of particles (that have special statistical properties) are called halos. From a visualization point of view, halos are clusters of particles, each having a position, mass and velocity in three dimensional space, and they can be represented as point clouds that contain various structures of geometric interest such as filaments, membranes, satellite of points, clusters, and cluster of clusters.

The thesis investigates methods for interacting with large scale data-sets represented as point clouds. The work mostly aims at the interactive visualization of cosmological simulation based on large particle systems. The study consists of three components: a) two human factors experiments into the perceptual factors that make it possible to see features in point clouds; b) the design and implementation of a user interface making it possible to rapidly navigate through and visualize features in the point cloud, c) software development and integration to support visualization.