Integrated Simulations

Combining simulation, visualization, and analysis in one tool to support decision making.

Research Priorities

Decision support in the environmental domain is often based on simulating phenomena of interest by means of numerical models. For example, disaster management relies on the simulation of catastrophes such as floods or droughts to estimate the local risk and damage. Construction planners employ agent-based simulations to investigate possible evacuation procedures. A simulation is an intricate computational process, and its complexity must be hidden from the user behind intuitive visual interfaces. To achieve this, the Integrated Simulations group aims for a tight integration of simulation, analysis, and visualisation in one software tool called Visdom.

The key to successful decision support is the ability to test and explore alternative options. Users are able to pose "What if" questions to the system, for example, "What happens if a levee breach occurs?", "Does it make sense to install mobile protection barriers next to the hospital?", or "Can we guarantee the completion of all barriers in time if we employ 30 workers and two trucks?". In Visdom, the synergy of modules for simulation, analysis, and visualization provides the user with the answers to such questions. In dedicated visual representations, users can observe the effects of their decisions, for example, a flood extent or an expected damage to important infrastructure.

Our most advanced application concerns flood and stormwater events. It uses a GPU-based inhouse 2D shallow water solver in combination with a sewer network simulation to model different hydrodynamic phenomena. Apart from that, we are working on the integration and coupling of simulation models for rainfall-runoff computation, logistics, and agent-based models for pedestrians and traffic to provide broader applicability of our generic decision support in the environmental domain. When and where storms occur can only be predicted at short notice. But who will be affected and to what extent can be determined long in advance - we are helping cities and villages to take protective measures in advance.


  • Integrating Simulation and Visualization
  • Hydrodynamic Modelling
  • Geospatial Decision Support
  • Disaster Management
  • Visualization Systems
  • Flood Simulation


Behind our smart solutions and software are smart and driven people.
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Videos about Visdom

Download information material about Visdom

How we are helping cities take protective measures with integrated disaster management


  • Scientific Partners: Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, TU Vienna (Prof. Günter Blöschl), RWTH Aachen (Prof. Sebastian Noelle)
  • Application Partners: Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Köln (AöR), RIOCOM – Ingenieurbüro für Kulturtechnik und Wasserwirtschaft DI Albert Schwingshandl

Key Publications

Daniel Cornel, Andreas Buttinger-Kreuzhuber, Artem Konev, Zsolt Horváth, Michael Wimmer, Raimund Heidrich, Jürgen Waser (2019):
Interactive Visualization of Flood and Heavy Rain Simulations.
In Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings EuroVis 2019, 38(3), pages 25-39, 2019. Best Paper Award

Andreas Buttinger-Kreuzhuber, Zsolt Horváth, Sebastian Noelle, Günter Blöschl, Jürgen Waser (2019):
A fast second-order shallow water scheme on two-dimensional structured grids over abrupt topography.
In Advances in Water Resources, Volume 127, pages 89-108, May 2019.

I. Schwerdorf, H. Werker, J. Waser (2018): Der Kölner Weg der Überflutungsvorsorge.
Korrespondenz Wasserwirtschaft 2/2018.

D. Cornel, A. Konev, B. Sadransky, Z. Horváth, A. Brambilla, I. Viola, J. Waser (2016): Composite Flow Maps.
in Computer Graphics Forum.

Current Projects

Former Projects