VTK-h Filter Anatomy

VTK-h filters can be found in the src/vtkh/filters directory of the VTK-h github repsository. The VTK-h filter interface is straight-forward:

  virtual ~Filter();
  void SetInput(DataSet *input);
  virtual std::string GetName() const = 0;
  DataSet* GetOutput();
  DataSet* Update();

  virtual void DoExecute() = 0;
  virtual void PreExecute();
  virtual void PostExecute();

A new VTK-h filter must minimally implement two methods: GetName() and DoExecute. A filter’s input is a VTK-h data set which is a collection (a std::vector) of VTK-m data set with extra meta data like the cycle and domain ids.

Implementing A New Filter

As a convenience, we provide a NoOp filter as staring point. Its recommended that you copy and rename the header and source code files and use that as a base. The NoOp filter demonstrates how to loop through all the domains in the input data set, retrieve the underlying VTK-m data set, and where the interesting stuff goes.

void NoOp::DoExecute()
  this->m_output = new DataSet();
  const int num_domains = this->m_input->GetNumberOfDomains();

  for(int i = 0; i < num_domains; ++i)
    vtkm::Id domain_id;
    vtkm::cont::DataSet dom;
    this->m_input->GetDomain(i, dom, domain_id);
    // insert interesting stuff
    m_output->AddDomain(dom, domain_id);

Inside of the source file, you are free to create new and invoke existing VTK-m worklets that will execute on supported devices. For a more fully functional example, consult the Marching Cubes filter.

Updating the CMakeLists.txt

Once you have copied the header and source file, add the new file names to the CMakeLists file in the filters directory. The header should be added to the vtkh_filters_headers list and the source file to the vtkh_filters_sources list.

Using MPI Inside VTK-h

VTK-h and Ascent both create two separate libraries for MPI and non-MPI (i.e., serial). In order to maintain the same interface for both versions of the library, MPI_Comm handles are represented by integers and are converted to the MPI implementations underlying representation by using the MPI_Comm_f2c function.

Code containing calls to MPI are protected by the define VTKH_PARALLEL and calls to MPI API calls must be guarded inside the code. Here is an example.

  MPI_Comm mpi_comm = MPI_Comm_f2c(vtkh::GetMPICommHandle());
  int rank;
  MPI_Comm_rank(comm, &rank);


vtkh::GetMPICommHandle() will throw an exception if called outside of a VTKH_PARALLEL block.