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A timing chain drive transfers motion from the engine's crankshaft to the camshaft that operates the valves. The design process of timing chain drives involves computer simulation of many design variants in order to find an optimum. Most of the simulation results can be represented as families of function graphs (data series). Previously, the analysis of those results was based on static 2D diagrams and animated 3D visualizations. They were suitable for the detailed analysis of a few simulation variants, but not for the comparison of many cases. In this paper we propose a new approach to the analysis based on coordinated linked views and advanced brushing features. Our proposed method supports the interactive analysis of many design variants. We introduce a novel view, called segmented curve view, which can display distributions in families of function graphs. The segmented curve view combines individual function graphs where for a fixed value of the independent variable, a bar extends from minimum to maximum values across the family of function graphs. Each bar is divided into segments (bins) with a color that represents the number of function graphs with the value in that segment. In the case study, we demonstrate that the new view combined with "traditional" views provides a strong support for the interactive visual exploration and analysis of a real world timing chain design problem.
Date of Conference: 2-2 July 2007