PMVIS (Partitioned Mesh Visualizer),
A Program to view partitioned meshes


PMVIS (Partitioned Mesh Visualizer) is a program to view partitioned, unstructured meshes, consisting of triangular, quadrilateral, tetrahedral, or hexahedral elements. Partitioned meshes are commonly used in high performance computing to distribute the computation into a number of processors. PMVIS is developed to view these meshes, allowing users to examine partitions by means of explosion, zooming, rotation, translation, scaling, and applying a clipping cube.


  • 2009-02-22 License changed to GPL3. Source code updated to latest ISO C++ specs.
  • 2001-04-11 Fixed a few compatibility issues.
  • 2001-04-20 Version 1.07 is up, original partition order is preserved.
  • 2001-03-16 PMVIS home page is moved to this location.
  • 2001-01-20 Online manual in html format is available.
  • 2000-04-29 Modified source code to handle scope changes in ANSI C++.
  • 1999-11-28 PMVIS is online and it is submitted to


  • High performance, portable program using OpenGL hardware acceleration
  • Support up to thousands of partitions, millions of elements
  • Support for triangles, quadrilaterals, tetrahedrons, and hexahedrons
  • Easy to use user-interface using mouse and keyboard
  • Optional preprocessing to remove nonboundary elements, increasing performance and memory usage
  • Optional, on the fly sorting of partition centers to improve transparency effects
  • Different levels of anti-aliasing balancing speed and quality
  • Optional backface or frontface culling
  • Ability to zoom, rotate, translate, scale and move clipping cube
  • Autoselection of distant colors for a given number of partitions
  • Selecting subsets of partitions, ability to hide or apply different transparency values for each
  • Adjustable explosion factor to separate partitions
  • Ability to use a clipping cube with adjustable position and size to focus on a subvolume
  • Optional preview mode to obtain better interactivity with larger meshes
  • Bounding boxes and partition labels drawn in preview mode to locate relative position of partitions
  • Optional interface to METIS to partition the mesh on the fly for a given number of partitions

PMVIS is pretty flexible in various aspects and does not necessarily require a partitioned mesh. If no partition vector is given, the mesh is treated as a single partition and can be used with full functionality.


PMVIS is written in C++ using OpenGL and GLUT libraries. It is quite portable and should work on various platforms such as various flavors of Unix, Windows, OS/2, and MacOS. It is tested for SGI Iris 6.2, Windows 98/NT, and GNU/Linux.

For more information on OpenGL and GLUT see


All platforms: Source code, manual, test dataset

Binaries for compilation challenged platforms (use at your own risk): Windows


PMVIS is available under the GNU General Public License, Version 3


Feedback/suggestions are always welcome. Please feel free to contact me at oztekin at cs dot umn dot edu.
Copyright © Bilgehan Uygar Oztekin