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A polygon reduction algorithm for enhancing graphics performance with application to fast rendering of geophysical and ionospheric model data

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Abstract. Many scientific applications employ computer graphics as a means of interactively visualizing two-dimensional geophysical data sets. This paper presents an algorithm for improving rendering performance by using an image segmentation approach to reduce the number of rendered polygons while maintaining complete display fidelity. Though applied here specifically to the output from a numerical ionosphere model, the algorithm is broadly applicable to many other two-dimensional cellular data sets, geophysical and otherwise. In an ionospheric context, this algorithm demonstrates the ability to reduce the number of rendered polygons by 95 per cent or more with a corresponding reduction in rendering time.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 1997

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