Yt: A multi-code analysis toolkit for astrophysical simulation data

Matthew J. Turk, Britton D. Smith, Jeffrey S. Oishi, Stephen Skory, Samuel W. Skillman, Tom Abel, Michael L. Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The analysis of complex multiphysics astrophysical simulations presents a unique and rapidly growing set of challenges: reproducibility, parallelization, and vast increases in data size and complexity chief among them. In order to meet these challenges, and in order to open up new avenues for collaboration between users of multiple simulation platforms, we present yt (available at an open source, communitydeveloped astrophysical analysis and visualization toolkit. Analysis and visualization with yt are oriented around physically relevant quantities rather than quantities native to astrophysical simulation codes. While originally designed for handling Enzo's structure adaptive mesh refinement data, yt has been extended to work with several different simulation methods and simulation codes including Orion, RAMSES, and FLASH. We report on its methods for reading, handling, and visualizing data, including projections, multivariate volume rendering, multidimensional histograms, halo finding, light cone generation, and topologically connected isocontour identification. Furthermore, we discuss the underlying algorithms yt uses for processing and visualizing data, and its mechanisms for parallelization of analysis tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosmology: theory
  • Methods: data analysis
  • Methods: numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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