Silva: System to Instantiate Large Vegetated AreasSilva: System to Instantiate Large Vegetated Areas

Silva is a software framework for the generation and visualization of large ecosystems.

In order to be efficient, Silva makes use of elaborate instantiation schemes, wang tilings and acceleration structure nestings. Silva consists of the modules SilvaSim and SilvaVis.

SilvaSim generates instantiatable ecosystem structures based on growth probabilities. Therefore, it uses configurable simulation pipelines and evaluator networks enabling the user to generate arbitrary complex ecosystem descriptions. In SilvaSim plants can agglomerate different properties describing their response behaviour to their abiotic surrounding. Evaluator networks interconnect and evaluate these properties. Additionally, plant neighbourhoods can be taken into account enabling biotic interaction of neighbouring species. The whole generation process is fully configurable using XML. SilvaVis is the module for visualizing the ecosystems generated by SilvaSim. Using the highly efficient rendering system “RTfact” developed at Saarland University and complex instantiation schemes SilvaVis can visualize extremely large ecosystems (e. g. 40km x 40km with several hundert million highly detailed plant models) on commoditiy hardware with a small memory footprint at nearly interactive frame rates.

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