Section: Research Program

Real-time computational models for interactive applications

The principal objective of this challenge is to improve, at the numerical level, the efficiency, robustness, and quality of the simulations (see Fig. 2). An important part of our research is dedicated to the development of computational models that remain compatible with real-time computation, i.e., which allow immediate visual or haptic feedback. This typically requires computation times below 50ms and in some cases around 1ms. Such advanced models can not only increase the realism of future training systems, but also act as a bridge toward the development of patient-specific solutions for computer-aided interventions. Additionally, such simulations should run on (high-end) consumer level computers (i.e. with a single multi-core CPU and a dedicated GPU). To reach these goals, we are investigating novel finite element techniques able to cope with complex, potentially ill-defined input data. After developing Smoothed FEM for real-time simulations, we are developing meshless techniques and immersed boundary methods. The first one is well suited for topological changes, which we sometimes need to account for in our simulations. The second is expected to lead to more stable, and numerically efficient, formulations of the finite element method. We are also developing numerical techniques to compute the complex interactions that can take place between anatomical structures or between medical devices and organs. Boundary conditions are known to also play an important role in the solution of such problems. Therefore we are investigating solutions to both identify and model the interactions that take place between the structure of interest and its anatomical environment.

Figure 2. Model of the pelvis with (left) the finite element models of different anatomical structures and (right) their visual representations. Complex interactions take place between these deformable structures. The simulation is computed at interactive rates
IMG/pelvis_forcefield.png IMG/pelvis_visual.png