4 Using the Pyramid Data Type

4 Using the Pyramid Data Type

This chapter discusses the cxPyramid data type and how it is used in the IRIS Explorer environment. It describes the pyramid structure and explains the concept of pyramid compression to save time and effort when constructing a pyramid. It also discusses how you use pyramid dictionaries to build the elements of a pyramid and lists the elements available in the IRIS Explorer standard pyramid dictionary.

The API (Application Programming Interface) routines are listed and examples of user function code for writing modules that build and manipulate pyramids are included.

4.1 Understanding Pyramids

Pyramids hold two kinds of data: irregular or unstructured grid data, such as finite element data, and molecular modelling data. In IRIS Explorer, the pyramid data type is used primarily for finite element modelling and creating irregular grids, and most IRIS Explorer pyramid modules handle only this kind of data, not molecular data.

The pyramid data structure, cxPyramid, defines the relationship between the different layers of data required to build a pyramidal structure. In finite element data, you can consider the element grid as a collection of vertices (points), edges (lines), faces (polygons), elements (three-dimensional cells), objects (collections of 3D elements), assemblies (collections of objects), and so on. You can fit these together to make an object from faces, bounded by edges, which are in turn delimited by vertices.

Because cxPyramid combines several data types, it is an extremely flexible and powerful structure; witness its ability to handle both finite element data and molecular data. The flexibility of the cxPyramid data type also makes it somewhat difficult to use properly. It may take a little practice before the method of creating pyramids out of an hierarchical collection of points, lines, polygons, and elements makes sense.

In many cases where you are representing finite element data, it is simplest to use the pyramid dictionary representation. The reason is that the dictionary elements already contain the detailed hierarchy of points, lines, and faces. You simply create a list of vertices making up the overall finite element structure or irregular grid, and then describe the final structure as a collection of element types, each of which depends on certain identified vertices. Use of the dictionary also serves to cut down on the unnecessary repetition of information in the interests of computational and storage efficiencies.

You can write two kinds of pyramid modules; those that read pyramid data, such as ComposePyr, and those that process pyramid data, such as IsosurfacePyr. It is relatively easy to write a pyramid reader module without having to be an expert on pyramid structure and the first part of this chapter explains how to do so, using two code examples. If you want to write a pyramid processing module, you need to understand the finer details of pyramid composition, and these are discussed later in the chapter.

4.1.1 The Structure of a Pyramid

The cxPyramid data type is a root data type, which means it can be used on module ports to pass data into and out of modules. A pyramid consists of three main parts:

  • the several layers of pyramidal data; for example, points, lines, and faces. These values are collected in cxLattice.

    The structure of cxLattice is described in Chapter 3, "Using the Lattice Data Type".

  • the relationships between these layers, described by cxPyramidLayer. You really need to know exactly how your lattices are constructed before you try to create the relationships that combine them.

    Pyramid layers and connections are described in detail in Section 4.4.

  • optional references to predefined pyramid elements, which are stored in a dictionary, cxPyramidReference. Pyramid dictionaries are described in detail in Section 4.3.

This is the data type definition for cxPyramid:

root typedef struct cxPyramid {
  cxLattice          baseLattice     "Base Lattice";
  long               count           "Num Levels";
  cxPyramidLayer     layer[count];
  cxPyramidReference ref;
} cxPyramid;

These are the variables for the pyramid:


A 1D curvilinear lattice that defines the vertices of the finite element pyramid. (It defines the bonds of a molecular pyramid.) The baseLattice must have coordinates in order to define the location of the vertices. Most finite element pyramid modules require data values as well.


The count is an integer that indicates how many layers make up the pyramid, and thus its dimensionality. Layers are numbered from 0 to count-1, excluding the baseLattice. For example, a pyramid with count=4 would represent a collection of many 3D elements (see Figure 4-3).


Each layer consists of a lattice and a cxConnection structure describing its relationship to the adjacent lattice one layer down. The explicit connections between lattices at adjacent levels determine the shape of each pyramid component, and hence the shape of the entire pyramid. The lattice values at each layer are optional, but the relationship structures are required at all layers in the pyramid. The definition and structure of the cxPyramidLayer and cxConnection data types are described in Section 4.4.


Describes the pyramid dictionary, which is a set of predefined pyramidal data structures that you can incorporate by reference into your pyramid. See Section 4.3 for a description of the cxPyramidReference data type.

A pyramid that incorporates a pyramid dictionary is said to be a compressed pyramid as opposed to the uncompressed pyramids lacking such a dictionary. A pyramid dictionary is simply a collection of uncompressed pyramids that describe in full detail their reference elements.

4.1.2 Pyramid Dictionaries

You can use pyramid dictionaries to:

  • Save storage space. A finite element pyramid composed of many cells may take up a great deal of storage space, which is expensive in computing terms. This is especially true for a pyramid composed entirely of one kind of cell, such as hexahedrons (also called bricks). A pyramid dictionary offers a way for you to store and access representions of pyramid cells without having to list every single face and edge in your pyramid data structure.

  • Add your own dictionary entries. IRIS Explorer provides a standard reference dictionary of cell types which you can augment by adding any cells you wish. The dictionary is available through API calls.

The cxPyramidReference data structure, described in Section 4.3, lets you specify the composition of your pyramid in terms of already-defined pyramidal elements. For example, to create a tetrahedral finite element grid, you would specify the element type as tetrahedral, list the vertices necessary to create the grid, and enumerate the constituent tetrahedra based on their four corner vertices.

For a grid of hexahedral bricks, you would specify the type as hexahedral, list the vertices necessary to create the grid, and enumerate the constituent hexahedral bricks based on their eight corner vertices. This is illustrated in the SimplePyrReader module described below.

The best way to learn how to use the pyramid data type is by example. The next section provides two examples of user functions for pyramid modules.

4.1.3 A Pyramid Reader Module

This example, called SimplePyrReader, takes in nodal points, reads them and makes hexahedrons from them. It is a good template for creating any pyramid reader module that deals with only one data type. It uses compression and refers to the default pyramid dictionary.


As mentioned above, this reader module will only create a single type of pyramid. It is presented here for reasons of simplicity. The more general ReadPyr module creates any type of pyramid and supports a richer input file format. Files written in this ‘plain’ ASCII format can be immediately read by ReadPyr. The ReadPyr help page contains details of the plain ASCII pyramid format. Alternatively, see the file $EXPLORERHOME/data/pyramid/README.PlainFormat. Example data files in the plain format may be found in the same directory.

The C source code for SimplePyrReader is in $EXPLORERHOME/src/MWGcode/Pyramid/C/reader.c and the Fortran source is in $EXPLORERHOME/src/MWGcode/Pyramid/Fortran/reader.f. The directories also contain copies of an example input data file, sample.data (see below), and an example map SamplePyrReader.map. You can test the module by building it, loading the example map into the Map Editor, and viewing the points, vectors and polygons in the pyramid.

This is the sample.data file, which contains toy finite element data. The reading of this file (see the source code below) allows for blank lines, but no other text (such as comments, for example).

12 1 2

0 0 0 100
0 1 0 100
1 1 0 100
1 0 0 100
0 0 1 200
0 1 1 200
1 1 1 200
1 0 1 200
0 0 2 300
0 1 2 300
1 1 2 300
1 0 2 300

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The first line gives the number of nodes (12), the number of data variables (1) and the number of hexahedrons or bricks (2). The next 12 lines list the coordinates (x,y,z) and the data value for each node. The data variable is pressure, changing in the z direction. The bricks have eight nodes each, but share one face (four nodes) so there is a total of 12 nodes.

The last two lines define the connectivity list, or the relationship between the nodes that make up the bricks. The two bricks share the face delineated by nodes 4, 5, 6, and 7. The nodes are connected in the sequence indicated in the first list; the first brick is defined in the penultimate line, and the second brick is defined in the final line. The form of the hexahedron in the default pyramid dictionary is shown in Figure 4-1.

This is the user function for SimplePyrReader.

Example 4-1 C Version of the SimplePyrReader Module:

This module is a prototype reader of finite element data.
It reads in nodal points and then the connectivity for the cells.
This code assumes that only one cell type is used. The user
can alter the two define's for a different cell type.

#include <cx/cxPyramid.h>
#include <cx/Pyramid.h>
#include <cx/cxPyramid.api.h>
#include <cx/DataAccess.h>
#include <cx/DataTypes.h>

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <fcntl.h>

#define NODES 8
#define TYPE cx_pyramid_dict_hexahedron

int memclean(cxPyramid *pyr,
         cxErrorCode ec,
         cxConnection *conn)
/* this routine will clear up memory in case of errors */
  if(cxDataAllocErrorGet() || (ec != cx_err_none))
    return 1;
  } else {
    return 0;

void    read_brick  (char *filename,
           cxLattice **base_lat,
           cxPyramid ** pyramid )
  FILE *file;
  float *coord, *data;
  cxConnection *conn;
  cxPyramidDictionary *dict;
  cxErrorCode ec = cx_err_none;
  long *connec, num_nodes, num_bricks;
  long nDataVar,i,j,k, *elem;

  if(filename == NULL) return;
  if(filename[0] == NULL) return;
  if((file = fopen(filename,"r")) == NULL)
    printf("Cannot open file %s\n",filename);
  get the header information
   Number of Nodes,
   Number of Data Properties,
   Number of elements
  fscanf(file,"%ld %ld %ld",&num_nodes, &nDataVar, &num_bricks);
  *base_lat = cxLatNew(1,&num_nodes,nDataVar,cx_prim_float,
  if(cxDataAllocErrorGet()) return;
  cxLatPtrGet(*base_lat,NULL,(void **)&data,NULL,(void **)&coord);

  read in the nodal data. This assumes there are 3 coords
  and nDataVar data values for each node.
    fscanf(file," %f %f %f",&coord[3*i],&coord[3*i+1],&coord[3*i+2]);

/* build up the pyramid by ignoring the intermediate levels */
  *pyramid = cxPyrNew(0);

/* set up the connections list */

  conn = cxConnNew(num_bricks, num_bricks * NODES);
  *elem++ = 0;
    *elem++ = (i+1) * NODES;  /* each has NODES nodes per brick */
      fscanf(file,"%ld",&connec[k++]); /* read in nodal list */

/* make the pyramid dictionary */

  dict = cxPyrDictDefault( 3 );
  cxPyramidDictionarySet( *pyramid, dict, &ec );
  cxPyramidCompressionTypeSet( *pyramid,
                  cx_compress_unique, &ec );
  connec = (long *)cxPyramidCompressionIndexGet(*pyramid,&ec);
  *connec = TYPE;

Example 4-2 Fortran Version of the SimplePyrReader Module:

C     This module is a prototype reader of finite element data.
C     It reads in nodal points and then the connectivity for the cells.
C     This code assumes that only one cell type is used. The user
C     can alter the two define's for a different cell type.
      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/Pyramid.inc'
      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/cxPyramid.api.inc'
      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/DataAccess.inc'
      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/DataTypes.inc'
C     .. Parameters ..
#if defined(IS_64BIT)
      INTEGER*8           NODES
      INTEGER             NODES
      PARAMETER         (NODES=8)
C     .. Scalar Arguments ..

#if defined(IS_64BIT)
      INTEGER*8         CONN, DICT, EC
      INTEGER*8         CONNC(1), ELEM(1)
      INTEGER           CONN, DICT, EC
      INTEGER           CONNC(1), ELEM(1)

      CHARACTER*(*)     FILNAM
C     .. Local Scalars ..
      INTEGER           IER, IFILE, K
C     .. Local Arrays ..
      REAL              COORD(3,1), DATA(1)

C     .. External Functions ..
      INTEGER           MEMCLN
     *                  CXLATNEW, CXLATPTRGET,
C     .. External Subroutines ..
     *                  CXPYRAMIDDICTIONARYSET
C     .. Intrinsic Functions ..
      INTRINSIC         ICHAR
C     .. Pointers to Lattice Structures ..
#ifdef WIN32
C     .. Executable Statements ..
C     Get the file name from which to read the data
      IFILE = 7
      EC = CX_ERR_NONE
      IF (IER.NE.0) THEN
         PRINT *, 'Cannot open file', FILNAM
      END IF
C     Get the header information (number of Nodes, number of data
C     properties, number of elements)
     *         CX_COORD_CURVILINEAR)
C     Read in the nodal data. This assumes there are 3 coords
C     and nDataVar data values for each node.
      DO 20 I = 1, NNODES
         READ (IFILE,FMT=*) COORD(1,I), COORD(2,I), COORD(3,I),
     *     (DATA((I-1)*NDVAR+J),J=1,NDVAR)
C     Build up the pyramid by ignoring the intermediate levels
C     Set up the connections list
      ELEM(1) = 0
      DO 40 I = 1, NBRIKS
         ELEM(I+1) = I*NODES
         K = (I-1)*NODES
         READ (IFILE,FMT=*) (CONNC(J+K),J=1,NODES)
C     Make the pyramid dictionary
C     Clear up memory in case of errors
      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/DataAccess.inc'
      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/Typedefs.inc'
C     .. Scalar Arguments ..
      INTEGER                   CONN, EC, PYR
C     .. External Subroutines ..
      EXTERNAL                  CXDATAREFDEC
C     .. External Functions ..
C     .. Executable Statements ..
      MEMCLN = 0
         MEMCLN = 1
      END IF
      END Reading Several Data Types

If you want to build a pyramid reader module that can handle several data types, use the source code for ComposePyr as a template. It references the complete pyramid dictionary. The source code is in $EXPLORERHOME/src/ComposePyr/compose.c.

4.1.4 Using the Dictionary Elements

The dictionary reference elements serve as building blocks from which the final pyramid is constructed. They include 2D elements, such as triangles and quadrilaterals, and 3D elements, such as hexahedrons (or bricks) and tetrahedrons. The IRIS Explorer default dictionary contains some of the most commonly used reference elements (see Figure 4-1).

The vertices are labelled in the order that IRIS Explorer requires to make each form, counter-clockwise on the bottom and then counter-clockwise on the top. You provide this information in the connections list in cxConnection (see Section 4.4.3).


The vertex labelling of these elements is critical. The sequence determines how the vertices you provide in the connection list are interpreted. If you label the vertices differently, your finite element mesh will be made up of distorted or inverted elements.

Pyramid Dictionary Reference Elements

Figure 4-1 Pyramid Dictionary Reference Elements

Table 4-1 lists the elements illustrated above, with the dictionary name and number of nodes that make up each element.

Table 4-1 Standard Dictionary Reference Elements

Dimension Element No. of Nodes Name
0D Point 1 cx_pyramid_dict_point
1D Line 2 cx_pyramid_dict_line
2D Triangle 3 cx_pyramid_dict_triangle
  Rectangle 4 cx_pyramid_dict_quadrilateral
3D Tetrahedron 4 cx_pyramid_dict_tetrahedron
  Pyramid 5 cx_pyramid_dict_pyramid
  Prism 6 cx_pyramid_dict_prism
  Deformed brick (wedge) 7 cx_pyramid_dict_wedge
  Brick (hexahedron) 8 cx_pyramid_dict_brick, cx_pyramid_dict_hexahedron[a]

[a] cx_pyramid_dict_brick and cx_pyramid_dict_hexahedron are synonyms; they can be used interchangably.

4.2 Finite Element Pyramids

This pyramid type is useful for storing the results of finite element-based simulations. It consists of several levels: the base lattice and a number of layers, each of which contains a lattice with data and coordinates, if needed, and the connections between layers. The number of layers in a pyramid is infinite in theory, although in practice, pyramids tend to be self-limiting. A pyramid usually has at least three levels, including a base lattice.

4.2.1 Setting up the Lattice Structure

The structure of the finite element pyramid requires that the lattice at each level must be a 1D curvilinear lattice. The 1D restriction is so that the indexing information in the connections list makes sense. But there is a natural ordering from the nodes in a 3D lattice to nodes in a 1D lattice, so you can break out data from a 3D lattice fairly easily into a 1D lattice for inclusion in a pyramid. The natural ordering, or memory layout, of data in two or more dimensions gives the usual 1D indexing into the array.

Figure 4-2 shows a 2D lattice that, when translated into a 1D curvilinear lattice (for inclusion in a pyramid layer, say) has 35 nodes, indexed as 0-34.


In this figure, we have assumed the data is laid out in the C language (row-major) convention (see Figure 3-4).

Memory Layout of a 2D Lattice

Figure 4-2 Memory Layout of a 2D Lattice Contents of Layers

Not all lattices in a pyramid need have data or coordinates. The base lattice, which contains all the nodal data and coordinate values, is frequently the only lattice that contains coordinate information at all. The 0-layer lattice can store edge-based data, and the 1-layer lattice can contain face-centered data, such as the mass flux, for example. The 2-layer lattice can store volumetric or centroid data, such as a mass fraction, centroid pressure, or gauss point information. In addition, the lattice at each layer can store the physical location of each piece of data in its coordinates part. For example, the mass flux through a face could be assigned to the coordinates of the midpoint of the face, or some other location on the face. Similarly, cell-based data such as pressure or composition could be explicitly associated with a position within the cell (at, say, its center, or some other point). See Section 4.4.1 for more about the way in which the lattice is defined within the layer. Designing a Finite Element Mesh

The ClipPyr and CropPyr modules work by removing elements at the highest level in the pyramid, if those elements contain any vertices outside the bounding plane(s). Therefore, you should construct finite element meshes with the top level being the most natural component. Often, this will mean that a finite element mesh has three layers in the pyramid (i.e., count=3) and is composed of a large number of 3D elements. This is the default behavior of the LatToPyr module, which forms a tetrahedral or hexahedral mesh from a lattice.

4.2.2 Creating a Tetrahedral Grid

The pyramid structure is built from lattices layered onto the base lattice. Figure 4-3 shows the relationship between elements and layers in an uncompressed tetrahedral pyramid. It illustrates how a finite element grid can be built from the hierarchy of relationships between four vertices.

Layers in a Tetrahedral Grid

Figure 4-3 Layers in a Tetrahedral Grid

However, the simplest tetrahedral grid is just an array of tetrahedra, defined by specifying their vertices. The vertex locations and data are stored in the base lattice. You can omit edge and face information and go directly to the 3D element layer of the pyramid. The cxConnection structure of this layer (layer[2] in C or layer(3) in Fortran) really does all the work of constructing the tetrahedral grid.

The example in Figure 4-3 is made up of 32 tetrahedra, and so we can start to set values for some of the members of the cxConnection component of the layer:

numElements      32
elemArrayLen     33
elements[]        0  4  8  12  16 ... 128

Here, numElements is the number of elements (i.e., tetrahedra in the current example) in this layer, while elements is an array of length elemArrayLen which contains the indices into the connections array (see below) for each element in this layer.

The vertices are labelled in the order shown in Figure 4-4. Grid A shows the vertices at the bottom of the structure and grid B shows those at the top. Grid C shows the top partially overlaid on the bottom to illustrate how the tetrahedra are formed.

Top and Bottom of Compressed Tetrahedral Grid

Figure 4-4 Top and Bottom of Compressed Tetrahedral Grid

The connections array is the concatenation of the sets of four vertices for the 32 tetrahedra:

numConnections  128
connections[]     0  1  5 24
                  1  2  6 25
                  2  3  7 26
                 18 23 22 42

where connections is an array of length numConnections which contains the indices of the elements in the layer beneath, which are to be connected together to construct the elements in this layer. The elements array is used to step along connections to extract the indices for the individual elements. Thus, element number i in this layer is built up by connecting together elements connections[elements[i]], connections[elements[i]+1], ..., connections[elements[i+1]-1] from the layer beneath this one. Hence, element number i in this layer is constructed from connections to N elements from the layer beneath, where N=elements[i+1]-elements[i]. See Section 4.4 for more about the members of cxConnection.

The construction of the tetrahedra in the example of Figure 4-4 has been done directly in terms of their vertices (rather than their faces, edges and vertices), which, in the discussion above, are the elements in the layer ‘beneath’ layer[2], which defines the 3D elements of the pyramid. We have been able to bypass the intervening layers (which would ordinarily contain face and edge connectivity information) because we are using a compressed pyramid, i.e., one which contains a pyramid dictionary. This is described in more detail in the following section.

4.2.3 Using a Pyramid Dictionary

When you use a pyramid dictionary, some of the cell structures in the pyramid are compressed and you may have to enumerate the faces or edges making up the finite element grid. In general, it is unnecessary to specify any relationship information for the layers between the vertices and the layer at which dictionary elements are referenced. It is this careful omission of repetitive data that makes the pyramid dictionary structure simpler and more compact to use.

However, you must still define the lattice and connection list pairs in the layer[] array above the compression dimension (see the definition of nDim in Section 4.3). But below the compression dimension nDim, there are no lattice or cxConnection structures; these structures are superseded by the reference elements in the dictionary. The base lattice still holds the vertex data and coordinates necessary to give the compressed pyramid a location in physical space and to supply the data requirements of the pyramid modules.

In addition to the omission of some layers, there is an important change in the cxConnection structure at the compression layer. At layer[nDim-1] (in C) or layer(nDim) (in Fortran), the cxConnection structure must describe the composition of the compressed elements in terms of their vertices. You create such a connection list by listing the actual vertex indices of the baseLattice vertices you wish to go into the construction of each element, as in the example in Section 4.2.2.

The integer value that identifies the type of an element is really just an index into the pyramid dictionary. Since the dictionary is merely an array of uncompressed pyramids, it is natural to use the array index of the dictionary element as the identifying value. In the case of a grid of a single element type, however, the vector of identical indices is omitted in favor of a single universal element type. See Section 4.3 for how to specify these different cases.

Figure 4-5 shows how the tetrahedral grid looks in compressed form.

Layers in a Compressed Grid

Figure 4-5 Layers in a Compressed Grid

Figure 4-3 shows the same grid in uncompressed form, with all the layers visible. Advantages

Using the pyramid dictionary has two important advantages. Such a pyramid is easier to create, because you need only consider the vertices that make up each element. It also requires much less storage than its fully expanded version, because each reference element represents the internal face/edge/vertex hierarchy once for all instances of the type. Disadvantages

Using the pyramid dictionary has one drawback, the significance of which depends on your application. Because the face and edge structure is contained entirely within the omitted layers of a 3D compressed pyramid, such a pyramid has absolutely no representation of the sharing of faces or edges within the pyramid. An algorithm that requires connectivity information between cells of a finite element mesh will find such information is not present in a compressed pyramid.

To use a compressed pyramid in this context, you must create your own data structure showing connectivity between the compressed elements of the pyramid. See Chapter 8, "Creating User-Defined Data Types" for more information.

If you do not want to use the dictionary, you can represent an empty dictionary by setting the cxPyramidReference member compressType to cx_compress_none. In this case, cxPyramidDictionary is never referenced.

4.3 Structure of a Dictionary

Each dictionary has a dimensionality, which is also the dimensionality of all the elements found in it, and a vector of reference elements described as uncompressed pyramids. The data type structure is described by cxPyramidDictionary. Figure 4-1 shows the contents of the default 3D pyramid dictionary. These nine reference elements are described as a vector of nine pyramids, each of which comprises points, lines, and faces for that element.

The brick or hexahedron element, for example, comprises six faces, each of which comprises four out of the twelve edges found in the brick. Each of the twelve edges refers to two endpoint vertices. In the pyramid dictionary, the vertices are not given data or coordinates because they are generic elements, without location in Cartesian space or data values.

This is the type definition for the dictionary data type, cxPyramidDictionary:

shared typedef struct {
  long          nDim                        "Num Dimensions";
  long          numEntries                  "Num Entries";
  closed struct cxPyramid table[numEntries] "Table";
} cxPyramidDictionary;

These are the variables:


Gives the dimensionality of the pyramid dictionary, indicating the dimension at which compression takes place. If the reference elements are 3D, then nDim=3, the reference element pyramids have a count=3, and the compressed data pyramid has no cxConnection structure at layers 0 or 1.

For nDim values of 1, 2, or 3, you may be able to use the IRIS Explorer default dictionary (call the API routine cxPyrDictDefault to generate it). For nDim>3, you must provide your own dictionary.


The total number of entries in the vector table[] of pyramid structures.


The list of reference elements stored in the dictionary. Each element of table[] is a pointer to a fully expanded cxPyramid structure. The default 3D dictionary table has the reference elements listed in Table 4-1.

This is the type definition for the dictionary reference structure, cxPyramidReference:

typedef struct {
  cxCompressType      compressType    "Compression Type";
  switch (compressType) {
    case cx_compress_unique:            /* Use one element. */
      long        index               "Compression Index";
    case cx_compress_multiple:          /* Use many elements. */
      long        numIndices          "Number Indices";
      long        indices[numIndices] "Compression Index";
  } r;
  cxPyramidDictionary     dictionary  "Dictionary";
} cxPyramidReference;

These are the variables:


Indicates the existence of the pyramid dictionary and the access pattern into it. A compressType value of cx_compress_none indicates that no dictionary is used in this fully expanded pyramid.

A compressType value of cx_compress_unique indicates that a dictionary is used, but that the current finite element mesh is composed of only a single reference element type.

A compressType value of cx_compress_multiple indicates that a dictionary is used and that the current finite element mesh is composed of one or more reference element types. In this case, each element at layer nDim-1 (in C indexing notation) in the pyramid's layer[] array has its own reference element index.


The single index type of a cx_compress_unique pyramid.


The number of different reference element types selected from the dictionary.


The vector of index types of a cx_compress_multiple pyramid. Each index is the array index into table[] of the reference pyramid to be used in giving structure to the element's vertices.


There is no case statement in the switch (compressType) for cx_compress_none, because the case would have no members (since there is no compression) and this is prohibited by the IRIS Explorer data typing language. Hence, it doesn't appear in the data type definition. Similarly, it is absent from the data type declaration as well (see Section 4.6).

4.4 Pyramid Layer Connections

You use the connection list in each layer of a pyramid to define how elements in that layer and the one immediately below it are related. For example, the connection list in layer 0 of a tetrahedron represents the set of connections between the edge elements in layer 0 and the nodes, or point elements, in the base lattice. Each line element, or edge, is connected to two nodes, or vertices, and the concatenation of all connections is represented by a pair of arrays, connections and elements, in cxConnection.

4.4.1 The Pyramid Layers

The pyramid layers are described by the cxPyramidLayer structure. This is the type definition for a single pyramid layer:

typedef struct {
  closed cxConnection relation       "Layer %d Connection";
  closed cxLattice    nextLattice    "Layer %d Lattice";
} cxPyramidLayer;

These are the variables:


Defines the way in which elements in this layer are built up from connections to elements in the layer beneath. The cxConnection structure is defined in Section


The lattice containing data and coordinates for the elements in this layer, if required. It must be a 1D curvilinear lattice, with dims[0], the number of nodes, equal to the number of elements in this layer (i.e., numElements, see Section For example, in the example shown in Figure 4-3, if there was to be data associated with the edges of the structure, it would be inserted into the data part of the cxLattice component of layer[0]; the lattice would have dims[0]=6, the number of edges, and would contain data values for each edge. The edges would be specified in the same numerical order that is used when assigning the connections to the elements in the cxConnection part of the layer. If there was a location to be associated with each data value (for example, the midpoint of each edge), it would go into the coordinates part of the lattice.

For more on curvilinear lattices, see Section The Pyramid Connections

The connections among elements within a layer can be fairly complex and each one must be specifically defined in the cxConnection structure. This is the type definition for the set of connections in a pyramid layer:

shared typedef struct {
  long         numElements                 "Num Elements";
  long         elemArrayLen                "Elements Array Length";
  long         numConnections              "Connections Array Length";
  long         elements[elemArrayLen]      "Elements Array";
  long         connections[numConnections] "Connections Array";
} cxConnection;

These are the variables:


An integer that defines the number of elements, such as faces or lines, in this layer of the hierarchy.


The dimensioning variable for the elements[] array. It defines the length of the elements array, which will always be one more than the number of elements, numElements (see below).


Defines the length of the connections array.


The vector of connections between each element in this layer and elements in the next lower layer. The counts are listed cumulatively, so that elements[i+1] is elements[i] plus the number of connections from element number i (where i>=0 in C). Thus, the final entry in elements is equal to the total number of connections from elements in this layer. Also, it can now be seen that elements must always contain one more entry than the number of elements, since the final entry is used to determine the number of connections for element number numElements.


The vector of dependencies of current layer elements on elements in the layer below this one. The connections array lists the indices of elements in the layer beneath that are to be used in constructing the current layer. The entry at elements[i] in connections[] is the first subordinate item making up the ith element, with the others listed consecutively. The value at elements[i] is the index into the lattice at the next lower layer of the subordinate element (or into the base lattice if the current layer is numbered 0 in C).

Use of these variables is illustrated in Section 4.4.3.

4.4.2 Connection List Components

Figure 4-6 illustrates the components of a connection list for layer 0 of a tetrahedron. It contains six edge elements connected to four nodes in the base lattice by twelve dependencies. The connection data structure defines each edge-vertex relationship specifically (see Section

Connections in a Tetrahedron

Figure 4-6 Connections in a Tetrahedron

You can see how the vertex information and the description of the connections between them at each level are used to construct 2D and 3D elements, resulting in the creation of a tetrahedron. It is, however, legal to create a finite element pyramid without base data, coordinates, or indeed a base lattice at all.

4.4.3 Creating a Connection List

This example shows how you fill out the connections list for each layer in a pyramid. The data are for the connections illustrated in Figure 4-6.

  1. Use the API subroutine cxConnNew to create a new cxConnection structure, specifying the total number of elements in the current layer of the pyramid and the total number of connections between elements in this layer and nodes in the layer below. In this example, numElements=6, numConnections=12 and elemArrayLen=numElements+1=7.

  2. Get pointers to the elements and connections array from the new cxConnection structure using the API call cxConnPtrGet.

  3. Define the connections between each element and the nodes, listed in increasing order from 0. Do this by listing the node indices in order (the order need not be sorted by node number). For example, in Figure 4-6:

    • Element 0 has two nodes and points to nodes 0 and 1

    • Element 1 has two nodes and points to nodes 1 and 2

    • Element 2 has two nodes and points to nodes 2 and 0

    • Element 3 has two nodes and points to nodes 0 and 3

    • Element 4 has two nodes and points to nodes 1 and 3

    • Element 5 has two nodes and points to nodes 2 and 3

  4. Set the connections array to be the concatenation of the node indices associated with each element, as determined in step 3. In this case, the array is [0 1 1 2 2 0 0 3 1 3 2 3].

  5. Set the elements array to index into the connections array so that elements[i+1] is the cumulative number of connections for elements number 0, 1, ... i. Element i, consequently, has elements[i+1]-elements[i] connections, starting at connections[elements[i]], and ending at connections[elements[i+1]-1]. In the present example, this is straightforward to construct, since each element points to the same number of nodes (2). So, elements=[0 2 4 6 8 10 12]. (More generally, if each element has N connections, then we have elements[i]=i*N, for i>=0.)

4.4.4 Using the Compressed Pyramid API

It is somewhat involved to write a module that takes a pyramid as input in order to perform a computation, create a filtered output pyramid, or to generate geometry for visualization in the Render module. You must take into account the hierarchical nature of the pyramid data, with the added option of a dictionary to indicate element types. Designing a Compressed Pyramid Module

Because a few concepts usually suffice to create a compressed pyramid manipulation module, the steps to create such a module are given here in outline form.

The first step is to discover the natural dimension at which the module works. For example, an isosurface module typically works with a 3D input in order to create the isosurface through a single cell. If the input is viewed as a collection of 3D cells, the output is a collection of 2D surfaces. The behavior of the module is characterized by the dimensionality of input that it naturally processes. Generally, the input must have at least this dimensionality (you cannot isosurface a 2D input and get many useful results), which translates into a requirement for at least this number of layers in its pyramid.

The second step is to develop the computational algorithm for the module assuming the presence of data at the desired level. If the module requires the full hierarchical information of vertices, edges, and faces, this is the place to take advantage of it; however, if the module can work by omitting some layers of data (for instance, by dealing with a face as a list of vertices) then you should assume that those layers are omitted and that the pyramid is compressed at the operational layer.

Next, assuming that the pyramid is compressed at the operational layer, or not at all, loop over all ‘active’ elements. The active elements are those that are subordinate to some element at the top layer of the pyramid and are thus reachable from the top. Two API routines exist to list the active elements at a given layer: cxPyrActive and cxPyrActiveList. The former returns a Boolean byte vector (0 for false, otherwise true) indicating whether the element is active; the latter returns an array of the active indices. Use cxPyrActive unless you suspect that most elements in your input pyramid will be inactive. Using the active indicators, loop over all active elements and process them. Dealing with Compressed Elements

If the pyramid is not compressed, but you wish to deal with compressed elements, you can create a default dictionary using cxPyrDictDefault, using the dimensionality of the operational layer as input. Then use cxPyrDictLookup to find the pyramid dictionary element that is appropriate for the fully expanded element you have. This routine returns the list of vertices that make up the element so that you can work directly with the vertex list (assuming that your algorithm is equipped to handle the type of element returned by the call to cxPyrDictLookup).

Using cxPyrDictLookup may be time-consuming. In effect, you are compressing your input at the operational layer; you may simply call cxPyrCompress if you wish to do this all at once, assuming that you have the storage necessary to hold both the expanded and compressed versions of the pyramid at one time. Handling Compression at Non-Operational Levels

At this point you have a module that will work with compressed or expanded inputs, assuming compression only at the operational layer. Now you must extend your module to handle inputs that are compressed at the wrong layer.

It is often sufficient to handle inputs that are compressed at too low a layer by simply expanding them, then dealing with the fully expanded input as above. The savings due to compression increase with the dimensionality of the compression (or conversely, decrease with decreasing dimensionality of compression), so a pyramid that has too low a compression level may not save much storage. If the cost of expanding an input is likely to prove too great, then you must extend your computational algorithm to handle compression at too low a level.

Handling pyramid compression at too high a level is relatively easy, but requires a little study to master the details. The concept is to represent each pyramid dictionary reference element at the too-high level as a collection of known dictionary reference elements at the operational layer, and then to process the input by processing the equivalent known elements. A Practical Example

Assume that you are writing the 2D part of PyrToGeom, which creates shaded polygons from an input pyramid. However, the input pyramid is compressed at the 3D cell level. It is prohibitively expensive in time and memory to expand the pyramid and then recompress it to faces, so instead you preprocess the 3D element dictionary in terms of its faces, then simply draw the faces for each 3D element.

The first step is to preprocess the pyramid dictionary. The routine cxPyrDictCompress simplifies this task. This routine takes an input dictionary compressed at too high a level and returns a new, equivalent dictionary, where each reference element in the input dictionary is replaced by a _compressed_ reference element in the output dictionary.

This violates the usual standard that a pyramid dictionary is made up of fully expanded pyramids, but the violation is temporary, as this output dictionary is really used as a translation table to process elements at the operational level. Figure 4-7 shows the process.

Preprocessing a Pyramid Dictionary

Figure 4-7 Preprocessing a Pyramid Dictionary

Each of the compressed reference elements now refers to the same dictionary, which has dimension equal to the operational level. This means that each reference element is now described in terms of elements that your algorithm can handle. Furthermore, all the reference elements in the input dictionary are described in terms of the same dictionary, which you can include in your output if necessary.

Relating this to the PyrToGeom example, you receive a grid of 3D elements but want to work with faces. So you call cxPyrDictCompress to get a 3D dictionary in which each 3D reference element is instead a pyramid compressed at the 2D level; that is, each 3D reference element is now a compressed pyramid made up of faces.

Now it is easy to process the too highly compressed input. Simply operate on each active element at the compression level, looking up the element in the translation dictionary.

The element will comprise one or more elements at the correct level of compression, which can be processed directly by your algorithm. For instance, a 3D prism cell input is made up of triangular and rectangular faces, which PyrToGeom can handle.

Lastly, keep track of the vertices that are used to represent each element. In the original input, the vertices are listed at the compression layer in the connections[] array of the cxConnection structure. The input dictionary uses vertices numbered 01, ..., N-1 to indicate the first N vertices of the compressed element. During recompression of the input dictionary, the higher level element is decomposed into lower level elements, and the relevant vertices from the set [01, ..., N-1] are used.

It is important to pick up the indirect indexing from both the compressed dictionary and the input connection list, so that the correct vertices are used. For example, the prism has six vertices. If vertices 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 make up a sample prism, then the prism element in the input dictionary refers to vertices 0-5, meaning the first six vertices of the input element. Now, if you work with vertices 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, you will be interpreting the input data incorrectly. Instead, use the indirect addressing to pick up 0==>1, 1==>2, 2==>3, 3==>6, 4==>7, 5==>8.

The prism will then be made up of faces of two types, triangles (0,1,2) and rectangles (0,1,2,3). A sample connection array for a prism is [0 1 2 0 1 4 3 1 2 5 4 2 0 3 5 3 4 5]. When you work with the last triangle in the prism, make sure to index from its vertex number (0,1,2) into the connection array to get (3,4,5) as the vertices to look up in the original compressed input, yielding actual vertex numbers 678. This double translation may seem complex, but it naturally reflects the compression in two stages, first to too high a level, then down to the correct level.

Correct application of this technique makes it almost as easy to handle pyramid compression at any level as it is to handle it only at the desired level. Source code for the modules ComposePyr, CropPyr, and LatToPyr is provided in the directories below $EXPLORERHOME/src.

Most modules operate at a single level, but some, like PyrToGeom, can operate at many levels. In this case, you can create a table of operational level versus level of compression. You will usually find that the table breaks down into actions at the operational level, actions below that level (including, perhaps, simply expanding the input data), and recompressing the input dictionary for inputs above the operational level.

4.5 Chemistry Pyramids

Chemistry pyramids are used to construct objects according to information pertaining to molecular structures. The pyramid structure is more narrowly defined than that of the finite element pyramid and differs from it as follows:

  • The 3D layer, which defines the complete molecule, is not a volume but a ball-and-stick construction.

  • The relationship between bonds (in the base lattice) and atoms (in the 0 layer) is not hierarchical, although the relationship of the 0D to 1D layer is shown as such.

  • The structure of the lattice at each level is closely defined.

The chemistry pyramid has four levels, which are:


The top layer, which defines a complete molecule.


Contains information about atomic residues. The lattice at this level is a 1D uniform lattice (four vector, byte) that contains the four-character residue name.


Contains all atomic information in a 1D curvilinear lattice of type float with nCoordVar=3, and nDataVar=4, or more. The coordinate part of the lattice contains the positions of the atoms in 3D space. The data part of the lattice contains an ID number for the atom (referenced in the bonding information – see below) together with various other atomic parameters (see Table 4-2).


Defines the atomic bonds in a 1D uniform lattice of type long with nDataVar=3, or more. The length of the lattice (i.e., dims[0], the number of nodes) is equal to the number of bonds in the molecule. Each node contains contains the bond order (such as single, double, or triple) and two atom IDs. The IDs are the same as those specified in the atomic lattice. Subsequent variables in the data vector may be used to store other information about the bond (such as its topology, for example – see Table 4-2).

Source code examples, in the form of the source code used to build the modules MoleculeBuilder and ReadPDB, are provided in the directories below $EXPLORERHOME/src.

Table 4-2 lists the minimum required set of data values for the base lattice and the layer 0 lattice in a chemistry pyramid.

Table 4-2 User-Defined Values in the Chemistry Pyramid

Base Lattice Values Layer 0 Lattice Values
Type: 1 = single, 2 = double, 3 = triple, 4 = H-bond, 5 = aromatic ID number
First atomic number of the bond Element number (from the Periodic Table of the Elements)
Second atomic number of the bond Van der Waals radius
Topology: 1 = in ring, 2 = chain Color index
  Covalent radius

The connection list from atoms to bonds shows which bonds relate to which atoms, and the bond lattice's atomic IDs define which atoms are connected by which bonds. You can supply more information in additional vector components if you choose.

4.6 Data Type Declaration

The cxPyramid data type, though defined in the IRIS Explorer typing language, can be considered as a C structure. Fortran users need to set pointers to the data type structures when they use them. The type declaration resides in the header file $EXPLORERHOME/include/cx/cxPyramid.h.

This is the data type declaration for cxPyramid:

#include <cx/cxLattice.h>

typedef enum {
} cxCompressType;

typedef struct cxConnection {
  long               numElements;
  long               elemArrayLen;
  long               numConnections;
  long              *elements;
  long              *connections;
} cxConnection;

typedef struct cxPyramidLayer {
  cxConnection      *relation;
  cxLattice         *nextLattice;
} cxPyramidLayer;

typedef struct cxPyramidDictionary {
  long               nDim;
  long               numEntries;
  struct cxPyramid **table;
} cxPyramidDictionary;

typedef struct cxPyramidReference {
  cxCompressType    compressType;
  union {
    struct {
      long              numIndices;
      long             *indices;
    } cx_compress_multiple;
    struct {
      long              index;
    } cx_compress_unique;
  } r;
  cxPyramidDictionary *dictionary;
} cxPyramidReference;

typedef struct cxPyramid {
  cxLattice         *baseLattice;
  long               count;
  cxPyramidLayer    *layer;
  cxPyramidReference ref;
} cxPyramid;

The case of cx_compress_none does not appear in the union because it is empty. It is illegal to use an empty case in the IRIS Explorer data typing language.

The Fortran type enumerations reside in the file $EXPLORERHOME/include/cx/cxPyramid.inc.

The compression types are specified by this enumeration:

integer cx_compress_none
integer cx_compress_unique
integer cx_compress_multiple

parameter (cx_compress_none = 0)
parameter (cx_compress_unique = 1)
parameter (cx_compress_multiple = 2)

4.7 The Pyramid API Routines

You can use the API (Application Programming Interface) routines to manipulate data types in IRIS Explorer. The subroutines for creating and manipulating pyramids in IRIS Explorer, and for creating and referencing a pyramid dictionary, are listed below and described in detail in the IRIS Explorer Reference Pages.

The subroutines let you:

  • create pyramids

  • set the values in the pyramid and connection list data structures

  • allocate and copy pyramid data types

  • extract pyramid values

  • create a pyramid dictionary

  • reference a pyramid dictionary

Pyramid allocation is based on the number of levels of the pyramid; the user must allocate the lattice and connections for each level (use cxLatNew and cxConnNew). By convention, a pyramid with two lattices and one connection has one level (count=1) because the base lattice is not counted as a level.


All the subroutines use zero-based indexing except cxPyrLayerGet and cxPyrLayerSet. These two subroutines use one-based indexing.

Table 4-3 lists the pyramid subroutines.

Table 4-3 Pyramid Subroutines

Subroutine Purpose
cxPyrNew Allocates a pyramid structure
cxConnNew Allocates a connection list structure
cxLatNew Allocates a lattice structure
cxPyrSet Replaces the base lattice in a pyramid
cxPyrLayerGet Returns the lattice and connection list from a layer of the pyramid
cxPyrLayerSet Replaces the lattice and connection list from a layer of the pyramid
cxPyrDup Makes a copy of a pyramid structure
cxConnDup Copies a connection list structure
cxPyrGet Returns a pointer to the base lattice and the number of layers from a pyramid
cxConnEleGet Returns the connections of an element from a connection list
cxConnEleSet Sets the connections of an element in a connection list
cxPyrClean Removes unreferenced items from a pyramid
cxPyrMerge Selectively merges duplicated elements in a layer
cxPyrLayerSkip Returns a connection list relating two non-adjacent pyramid layers
cxConnPtrGet Returns all contents of a connection list
cxConnPtrSet Sets all contents of a connection list

Table 4-4 lists the pyramid dictionary subroutines.

Table 4-4 Pyramid Dictionary Subroutines

Subroutine Purpose
cxPyrDictDefault Calls the default dictionary
cxPyrCompress Converts an expanded pyramid to a compressed pyramid
cxPyrDupExpand Duplicates a pyramid and puts it in expanded form
cxPyrEleDupExpand Converts an element of a compressed pyramid into an uncompressed element in its own pyramid
cxPyrConcat Concatenates one pyramid onto another and expands or merges any dictionaries they may have
cxPyrEleNormalForm Removes duplicated nodes and edges, and fixes the faces that contain removed edges

4.8 Code Examples

Here are some examples of user functions for pyramid modules.

4.8.1 A Simple Example

This example uses compressed pyramids to generate a pyramid. The base lattice is passed into the module via its input port, and it reads the pyramid information from an input file. The C source code is in $EXPLORERHOME/src/MWGcode/Pyramid/C/GeneratePyr.c and the Fortran source is in $EXPLORERHOME/src/MWGcode/Pyramid/Fortran/GeneratePyr.f. The directories also contain copies of an example input data file, pyr.dat (see below), and an example map GeneratePyr.map. You can test the module by building it, loading the example map into the Map Editor, and viewing the vectors in the pyramid, then by changing the map and data files (see below).

This is the pyr.dat file, which contains information about the pyramid to be generated. The reading of this file (see the source code below) allows for blank lines, but no other text (such as comments, for example).

1 3 5 7 9 11
0 1 2 5
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

The format of this file is the number of nodes (vertices) in the first element, followed by a list of the vertices in the first element, followed by the number of nodes in the second element, etc. The data values and coordinates of the vertices are taken from the base lattice; the numbering of the vertices is the same as that of the nodes in the lattice. There is a direct equivalence between this numbering and that for the connections. In this example, it can be seen that the pyramid is made up of a prism element, a tetrahedron element and a brick element.

The example GeneratePyr.map uses GenLat as the source of the base lattice. As an alternative, you could try reading this in from a file. For example, here is a file containing coordinates and data for a set of vertices:


0.0 0.0 0.0 1
1.0 0.0 0.0 2
0.0 1.0 0.0 2
0.0 0.0 1.0 2

2.0 2.0 2.0 2
2.0 2.5 2.0 2
2.5 2.5 2.0 2
2.5 2.0 2.0 2
2.0 2.0 2.8 4
2.0 2.5 2.8 4
2.5 2.5 2.8 4
2.5 2.0 2.8 4

3.0 3.0 4.0 2
3.0 4.0 4.0 2
4.0 4.0 4.0 2
4.0 3.0 4.0 2
3.5 3.5 3.0 1

You can read this file using the ReadXYZData module, which outputs a 1D curvilinear lattice. Using this module, the first three values on each line (apart from the first) are read as the (x, y, z) coordinates of the node, and the fourth value is read as the data value at that node. Connect its output to the BaseLat input port on GeneratePyr[4] (see Section 2.5 of the IRIS Explorer User's Guide (UNIX)). Then pass the following input file to GeneratePyr:

0 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16

In this example, the pyramid is composed of a tetrahedral element, a hexahedral element and a pyramidal element (this division is reflected by the breaks in the lattice input file, above).

Example 4-3 C Version:

#include <cx/cxLattice.api.h>
#include <cx/cxParameter.api.h>
#include <cx/cxPyramid.api.h>
#include <cx/Pyramid.h>
#include <cx/DataAccess.h>
#include <cx/DataOps.h>
#include <cx/DataTypes.h>
#include <cx/UI.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <fcntl.h>

#define NUM_TYPES 9
#define NODE(i) ((i==0)?4:i)

long pyr_type[NUM_TYPES] = {

int memclean(cxPyramid *pyr, cxErrorCode ec, cxConnection *conn)
  if(cxDataAllocErrorGet() || (ec != cx_err_none))
      if(pyr != NULL)cxDataRefDec(pyr);
      if(conn != NULL)cxDataRefDec(conn);
      return 1;
      return 0;

void compose(cxLattice *baseLat, char *filename,
         cxPyramid **pyr, long quad)
  cxPyramidDictionary *dict;
  cxErrorCode ec = cx_err_none;
  cxConnection *conn;
  FILE *file;
  long *obj = NULL;
  long *node = NULL;
  long *iptr,i,num_nodes,num_objs,unique,levels;
  long show_quad,*elem,*connect;
  char buf[100];

  if(!filename || filename[0] == NULL)
  if((file = fopen(filename,"r")) == NULL)
      printf(" Error reading file %s\n",filename);

  /* the object list will not be any larger than the number of nodes */
  obj = (long *) cxDataCalloc((size_t) baseLat->dims[0],
                  (size_t) sizeof(long));
  show_quad = FALSE;
  num_objs = num_nodes = 0;
      if(fscanf(file,"%ld",&obj[num_objs]) < 0) break;
      if(node == NULL)
      node =
        (long *) cxDataMalloc((size_t) obj[num_objs]*sizeof(long));
      node = (long *) cxDataRealloc
        ((void *) node,
         (size_t) (num_nodes+obj[num_objs])*sizeof(long));
      if(fscanf(file,"%ld",&node[num_nodes+i]) < 1)
        (" Error reading obj %d. Not enough data\n",num_objs);
      num_nodes += obj[num_objs];

      /* determine whether it it a quad or tetra */
      if(obj[num_objs] == 4) {
    obj[num_objs] = ((quad == 0) ? 0:4);
    show_quad = TRUE;

  /* do I need the radio button? */

  /* am I a unique compressed pyramid ? */
  unique = TRUE;
      if(obj[i] != obj[i-1])
      unique = FALSE;

  /* build the pyramid */
  *pyr = cxPyrNew(0);
  levels = 3;
  conn = cxConnNew(num_objs,num_nodes);
  if(memclean(*pyr,ec,conn)) return;

  /* fill elem & connect */
  elem[0] = 0;
    elem[i+1] = elem[i] + NODE(obj[i]);

  /* verify all the nodes are legal */
    if(node[i] < 0 || node[i] >= baseLat->dims[0])
      printf("Illegal connection %d at %d\n",node[i],i);
      *pyr = NULL;

  /* load all the intermediate levels of the pyramid */

  /* put the connectivity in the pyr */

  /* add the compression info */
  dict = cxPyrDictDefault(levels);
    iptr =  cxPyramidCompressionIndexGet(*pyr,&ec);
    *iptr = pyr_type[obj[0]];
      /* non-unique */
      cxPyramidCompressionTypeSet(*pyr,cx_compress_multiple, &ec);
      if(memclean(*pyr,ec,NULL)) return;
      iptr = (long *)cxPyramidCompressionIndexAlloc(*pyr);
      if(iptr != NULL)
          *iptr++ = pyr_type[obj[i]];
  cxDataFree((void *) obj);
  cxDataFree((void *) node);

Example 4-4 Fortran Version:

      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/DataOps.inc'
      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/DataAccess.inc'
      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/DataTypes.inc'
      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/Pyramid.inc'
      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/cxPyramid.api.inc'
C     .. Parameters ..
      INTEGER           LSIZE
      PARAMETER         (LSIZE=4)
C     .. Scalar Arguments ..
#if defined(IS_64BIT)
      INTEGER*8         BASLAT, PYR, QUAD
      INTEGER*8         I1, I2, I3, I4, I5, I6, I7, NUMNOD, NUMOBJ
      INTEGER*8         CONN,DICT, EC
      INTEGER*8         DIMS(1),CONCT(1), ELEM(1)
      INTEGER           BASLAT, PYR, QUAD
      INTEGER           I1, I2, I3, I4, I5, I6, I7, NUMNOD, NUMOBJ
      INTEGER           CONN,DICT, EC
      INTEGER           DIMS(1),CONCT(1), ELEM(1)
      CHARACTER*(*)     FILNAM
C     .. Local Scalars ..
      INTEGER           I, IER, IOS, IUNIT, J
      LOGICAL           SHOWQU, UNIQUE
C     .. Local Arrays ..
      INTEGER           NODE(1), OBJ(1),
     *                  PYRTYP(9)
C     .. External Functions ..
      INTEGER           INODE
C     .. External Subroutines ..
     *                  CXPYRAMIDDICTIONARYSET,
C     .. Data statements ..
     *                  CX_PYRAMID_DICT_TRIANGLE,
     *                  CX_PYRAMID_DICT_TETRAHEDRON,
     *                  CX_PYRAMID_DICT_WEDGE,
     *                  CX_PYRAMID_DICT_HEXAHEDRON/
      DATA              IUNIT/11/
C     .. Pointers to Lattice Structures ..
#ifdef WIN32
C     .. Executable Statements ..
C     Open the input file for reading
      IF (IOS.NE.0) THEN
         PRINT *, 'Error opening file ', FILNAM
      END IF
C     Get the input lattice description
C     Allocate space to hold the associated object list
C     Initialise some variables
      SHOWQU = .FALSE.
      NUMOBJ = 0
      NUMNOD = 0
C     Read the object and nodes until the end of the file is reached
C     Allocate space to hold the nodes
         PNOD = PNODE
     *               NUMNOD*LSIZE)
      END IF
C     Determine if a quad has been entered
      IF (OBJ(NUMOBJ+1).EQ.4) THEN
         IF (QUAD.EQ.0) THEN
            OBJ(NUMOBJ+1) = 0
            OBJ(NUMOBJ+1) = 4
         END IF
         SHOWQU = .TRUE.
      END IF
      NUMOBJ = NUMOBJ + 1
      GO TO 20
C     Set the quad widget
         CALL CXINWDGTSHOW('Quad')
         CALL CXINWDGTHIDE('Quad')
      END IF
      UNIQUE = .TRUE.
      DO 60 I = 2, NUMOBJ
         IF (OBJ(I).NE.OBJ(I-1)) UNIQUE = .FALSE.
C     Build the pyramid structure
      PYR = CXPYRNEW(0)
      ELEM(1) = 0
      DO 80 I = 1, NUMOBJ
         ELEM(I+1) = ELEM(I) + INODE(OBJ(I))
      DO 100 I = 1, NUMNOD
         CONCT(I) = NODE(I)
      DO 120 I = 1, NUMNOD
         IF (NODE(I).LT.0 .OR. NODE(I).GT.DIMS(1)) THEN
            PRINT *, 'Illegal connection ', NODE(I), ' at ', I
            PYR = 0
         END IF
         CONCT(1) = PYRTYP(OBJ(1))
         IF (PCONCT.NE.0) THEN
            DO 140 I = 1, NUMOBJ
               CONCT(I) = PYRTYP(OBJ(I)+1)
  140       CONTINUE
         END IF
      END IF
C     Free the allocated space for objects and nodes
C     .. Scalar Arguments ..
      INTEGER                I
C     .. Executable Statements ..
      INODE = I
      IF (I.EQ.0) INODE = 4
C     Reallocate space for the nodes list as it grows
      INCLUDE '/usr/explorer/include/cx/DataOps.inc'
C     .. Scalar Arguments ..
      INTEGER           NEWSIZ, OLDSIZ
C     .. Local Scalars ..
      INTEGER           I
C     .. Local Arrays ..
      CHARACTER         ADDR(1), IADDR(1)
C     .. External Subroutines ..
C     .. External Functions ..
C     .. Pointers to Lattice Structures ..
#ifdef WIN32
C     .. Executable Statements ..
      DO 20 I = 1, OLDSIZ
         ADDR(I) = IADDR(I)

4.8.2 More Complex Examples

Source code for the modules ComposePyr (which is a more complicated variant on the GeneratePyr module above), CropPyr, and LatToPyr is provided in the directories below $EXPLORERHOME/src. To see how the modules are constructed, open the modulename.mres files for these modules in the Module Builder.

[4] The generic module name GeneratePyr here stands for GeneratePyr_C or GeneratePyr_F, the actual name of the modules built in C or Fortran.