Low-Level Data Inspection: Accessing Raw Data

yt can not only provide high-level access to data, such as through slices, projections, object queries and the like, but it can also provide low-level access to the raw data.


This section is tuned for patch- or block-based simulations. Future versions of yt will enable more direct access to particle and oct based simulations. For now, these are represented as patches, with the attendant properties.

For a more basic introduction, see yt Quickstart and more specifically Data Inspection.

Examining Grid Hierarchies

yt organizes grids in a hierarchical fashion; a coarser grid that contains (or overlaps with) a finer grid is referred to as its parent. yt organizes these only a single level of refinement at a time. To access grids, the grids attribute on a GridIndex object. (For fast operations, a number of additional arrays prefixed with grid are also available, such as grid_left_edges and so on.) This returns an instance of AMRGridPatch, which can be queried for either data or index information.

The AMRGridPatch object itself provides the following attributes:

  • Children: a list of grids contained within this one, of one higher level of refinement
  • Parent: a single object or a list of objects this grid is contained within, one level of refinement coarser
  • child_mask: a mask of 0’s and 1’s, representing where no finer data is available in refined grids (1) or where this grid is covered by finer regions (0). Note that to get back the final data contained within a grid, one can multiple a field by this attribute.
  • child_indices: a mask of booleans, where False indicates no finer data is available. This is essentially the inverse of child_mask.
  • child_index_mask: a mask of indices into the ds.index.grids array of the child grids.
  • LeftEdge: the left edge, in native code coordinates, of this grid
  • RightEdge: the right edge, in native code coordinates, of this grid
  • dds: the width of a cell in this grid
  • id: the id (not necessarily the index) of this grid. Defined such that subtracting the property _id_offset gives the index into ds.index.grids.
  • NumberOfParticles: the number of particles in this grid
  • OverlappingSiblings: a list of sibling grids that this grid overlaps with. Likely only defined for Octree-based codes.

In addition, the method get_global_startindex() can be used to get the integer coordinates of the upper left edge. These integer coordinates are defined with respect to the current level; this means that they are the offset of the left edge, with respect to the left edge of the domain, divided by the local dds.

To traverse a series of grids, this type of construction can be used:

g = ds.index.grids[1043]
g2 = g.Children[1].Children[0]

Examining Grid Data

Once you have identified a grid you wish to inspect, there are two ways to examine data. You can either ask the grid to read the data and pass it to you as normal, or you can manually intercept the data from the IO handler and examine it before it has been unit converted. This allows for much more raw data inspection.

To access data that has been read in the typical fashion and unit-converted as normal, you can access the grid as you would a normal object:

g = ds.index.grids[1043]

To access the raw data, you have to call the IO handler from the index instead. This is somewhat more low-level.

g = ds.index.grids[1043]
rho = ds.index.io.pop(g, "density")

This field will be the raw data found in the file.

Finding Data at Fixed Points

One of the most common questions asked of data is, what is the value at this specific point. While there are several ways to find out the answer to this question, a few helper routines are provided as well. To identify the finest-resolution (i.e., most canonical) data at a given point, use find_field_value_at_point(). This accepts a position (in coordinates of the domain) and returns the field values for one or multiple fields.

To identify all the grids that intersect a given point, the function find_point() will return indices and objects that correspond to it. For instance:

gs, gi = ds.find_point((0.5, 0.6, 0.9))
for g in gs:
    print(g.Level, g.LeftEdge, g.RightEdge)

Note that this doesn’t just return the canonical output, but also all of the parent grids that overlap with that point.

Examining Grid Data in a Fixed Resolution Array

If you have a dataset, either AMR or single resolution, and you want to just stick it into a fixed resolution numpy array for later examination, then you want to use a Covering Grid. You must specify the maximum level at which to sample the data, a left edge of the data where you will start, and the resolution at which you want to sample.

For example, let’s use the sample dataset Enzo_64. This dataset is at a resolution of 64^3 with 5 levels of AMR, so if we want a 64^3 array covering the entire volume and sampling just the lowest level data, we run:

import yt
ds = yt.load('Enzo_64/DD0043/data0043')
all_data_level_0 = ds.covering_grid(level=0, left_edge=[0,0.0,0.0],
                                      dims=[64, 64, 64])

Note that we can also get the same result and rely on the dataset to know its own underlying dimensions:

all_data_level_0 = ds.covering_grid(level=0, left_edge=[0,0.0,0.0],

We can now access our underlying data at the lowest level by specifying what field we want to examine:

(64, 64, 64)


array([[[  1.92588925e-31,   1.74647692e-31,   2.54787518e-31, ...,

(64, 64, 64)

If you create a covering grid that spans two child grids of a single parent grid, it will fill those zones covered by a zone of a child grid with the data from that child grid. Where it is covered only by the parent grid, the cells from the parent grid will be duplicated (appropriately) to fill the covering grid.

Let’s say we now want to look at that entire data volume and sample it at a higher resolution (i.e. level 2). As stated above, we’ll be oversampling under-refined regions, but that’s OK. We must also increase the resolution of our output array by a factor of 2^2 in each direction to hold this new larger dataset:

all_data_level_2 = ds.covering_grid(level=2, left_edge=[0,0.0,0.0],
                                      dims=ds.domain_dimensions * 2**2)

And let’s see what’s the density in the central location:

(256, 256, 256)

print(all_data_level_2['density'][128, 128, 128])

There are two different types of covering grids: unsmoothed and smoothed. Smoothed grids will be filled through a cascading interpolation process; they will be filled at level 0, interpolated to level 1, filled at level 1, interpolated to level 2, filled at level 2, etc. This will help to reduce edge effects. Unsmoothed covering grids will not be interpolated, but rather values will be duplicated multiple times.

To sample our dataset from above with a smoothed covering grid in order to reduce edge effects, it is a nearly identical process:

all_data_level_2_s = ds.smoothed_covering_grid(2, [0.0, 0.0, 0.0],
                                                 ds.domain_dimensions * 2**2)

(256, 256, 256)

print(all_data_level_2_s['density'][128, 128, 128])

Examining Image Data in a Fixed Resolution Array

In the same way that one can sample a multi-resolution 3D dataset by placing it into a fixed resolution 3D array as a Covering Grid, one can also access the raw image data that is returned from various yt functions directly as a fixed resolution array. This provides a means for bypassing the yt method for generating plots, and allows the user the freedom to use whatever interface they wish for displaying and saving their image data. You can use the FixedResolutionBuffer to accomplish this as described in Slice, Projections, and other Images: The Fixed Resolution Buffer.

High-level Information about Particles

There are a number of high-level helpers attached to Dataset objects to find out information about the particles in an output file. First, one can check if there are any particles in a dataset at all by examining ds.particles_exist. This will be True for datasets the include particles and False otherwise.

One can also see which particle types are available in a dataset. Particle types that are available in the dataset’s on-disk output are known as “raw” particle types, and they will appear in ds.particle_types_raw. Particle types that are dynamically defined via a particle filter of a particle union will also appear in the ds.particle_types list. If the simulation only has one particle type on-disk, its name will by 'io'. If there is more than one particle type, the names of the particle types will be inferred from the output file. For example, Gadget HDF5 files have particle type names like PartType0 and PartType1, while Enzo data, which usually only has one particle type, will only have a particle named io.

Finally, one can see the number of each particle type by inspecting ds.particle_type_counts. This will be a dictionary mappying the names of particle types in ds.particle_types_raw to the number of each particle type in a simulation output.