Feature-based Analysis of Plasma-based Particle Acceleration Data
Plasma-based particle accelerators can produce and sustain thousands of times stronger acceleration fields than conventional particle accelerators, providing a potential solution to the problem of the growing size and cost of conventional particle accelerators. To facilitate scientific knowledge discovery from the ever growing collections of accelerator simulation data generated by accelerator physicists to investigate next-generation plasma-based particle accelerator designs, we describe a novel approach for automatic detection and classification of particle beams and beam substructures due to temporal differences in the acceleration process, here called acceleration features. The automatic feature detection in combination with a novel visualization tool for fast, intuitive, query-based exploration of acceleration features enables an effective top-down data exploration process, starting from a high-level, feature-based view down to the level of individual particles. We describe the application of our analysis in practice to analyze simulations of single pulse and dual and triple colliding pulse accelerator designs, and to study the formation and evolution of particle beams, to compare substructures of a beam and to investigate transverse particle loss.