E. Hughes, B. Taccardi, and F. B. Sachse. A heuristic streamline placement technique for visualization of electrical current flow. In J Flow Visualization and Image Processing, vol. 13(1) , pp. 53-66, 2006
Streamline techniques are frequently applied for scientific visualization of two- and three-dimensional electric fields. Streamline distributions are expected to reflect important features of the underlying fields such as the locations of sources and sinks as well as variations of the field density. Streamline techniques fulfilling these demands in arbitrary fields are currently not developed.In this work, we present a heuristic technique, which aims at creating a linear relationship between a streamline distribution and the density of an underlying electric current field. The technique is based on a sequential optimization algorithm for placement of seed points of streamlines. In each step, a set of random trial seed points is created. Each point of the trial set is temporarily added to the set of best seed points. Streamlines are generated from the enhanced set and the fit of their distribution and the field density is determined. The best point is selected and added to the set of best seed points. The iteration ends after generation of a pre-given number of best seed points. Several examples illustrate results of this technique applied to electric current fields of small complexity and in more extensive cardiothoracic electric fields. Additionally, we characterized, with statistical studies, the influence of parameters of the algorithm on the relationship between streamline distribution and field density.