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Physically-Based Fluid Modeling using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics

Table of Contents

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CHAPTER 5

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Conclusions and Future Work

Initially it was thought that the SPH computations would be the primary
bottleneck in this algorithm. The intent was to implement the full set
of SPH equations and then eliminate complex calculations which may not
be necessary for a graphics animation. It turned out that reducing the
number of particles gave sufficient speed while maintaining "fluid" motion.
Unfortunately this benefit was counteracted by the lack of sufficient speed
in the surface evaluation algorithm.
Overall the integration of Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics with traditional
particle systems has been shown to be a successful method for modeling
fluid motion for computer graphics. It is a step beyond existing fluid
modeling methods in that it can accurately model large scale movement of
fluid due to the use of hydrodynamic equations of motion. It can be used
as either a testing ground for CFD simulations using SPH, giving a scientist
an interactive method of testing out simulation parameters before running
a full blown numerical simulation. On the other hand it is also useful
as a modeling tool, giving an animator a physically based method of creating
animations of fluid movement.

Further research is needed into the surface evaluation problem. The
use of the Cell Volume structure might be improved, as well as the load
distribution between the SPH and surface calculations (since the SPH computations
are running quickly, it makes sense to give some of that processing power
to the surface computation). It might also be useful to take advantage
of frame coherence: since the surface may not change a lot during one time
step only the areas which do move need recalculation. The "continuation"
method of polygonization (Bloomenthal, 1988; Wyvill, 1986b) may also be
useful as a combined evaluation/generation method.

Other methods of rendering the fluid could also be researched. Volumetric
rendering of non-grid based data (e.g. particles) is one possible approach.
Various graphics techniques such as transparency could also prove useful.

Integrating thermal energy into this equation of state may be appropriate
for modeling melting and cooling of the fluid. Thermal energy is successfully
used in the molecular dynamics fluid models (Tonnesen, 1991; Terzopoulos,
1989). It would seem to be the next logical step for this algorithm. The
next logical step from the multi-processing aspect of this system would
be distribution of the computations. The SPH calculations and/or the surface
evaluation could easily be run on an SGI Challenge (or Challenge Array),
assuming a fast network and some code reorganization.

Other future work involves the definition and use of more complicated
obstacles, involving rounded, or other more complex surfaces. This would
open the door for creating more "real world" situations in which to model
fluid movement.

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