Cinema is an innovative way of capturing, storing and exploring extreme scale scientific data. It is a highly interactive image-based approach to data analysis and exploration that promotes investigation of large scientific datasets, and is easily integrated into your existing workflows through extensions to widely used open source tools. This novel approach supports interactive exploration of a wide range of results, while still significantly reducing data movement and storage.

Extreme scale scientific simulations are leading a charge to exascale computation, and data analytics runs the risk of being a bottleneck to scientific discovery. Due to power and I/O constraints, we expect in situ visualization and analysis will be a critical component of these workflows. Options for extreme scale data analysis are often presented as a stark contrast: write large files to disk for interactive, exploratory analysis, or perform in situ analysis to save detailed data about phenomena that a scientists knows about in advance. We present a novel framework for a third option – a highly interactive, compact and scalable way to explore data.

Cinema is an application-neutral approach to large data analysis, visualization and exploration. The foundation of Cinema is database specifications that provide a way for common data to be written and read by any application. We provide reference implementations of exporters and viewers, but these are by no means intended to be the only applications within the Cinema community.

A good way to get started is to read the Supercomputing Paper that first described Cinema’s approach. From there, visit and you can move on to reading the specifications, creating databases with our tools, or including Cinema-compliant components in your own workflows.