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Hi, I'm going to be writing some code to generate 2-D vector fields, at some sampling resolution. These will be fields of derivative vectors. In some of the graphs, I just want to show the vectors as arrows. In other graphs, I'd like to show a field of flow lines, perhaps with some extra indications for the points of attraction and repulsion. Of course it will also need the standard items: captions for the graph and axes, and tick marks and numbers for the axes. Plus some basic color control. The output should look nice, for inclusion in blog articles.
The vector fields will from the rate equation, applied to various two-species Petri nets.
I'm looking for any and all suggestions for how to go about this. On the one hand, I like the idea of using a text-file interface between the output of the computational component, and the input of the rendering component. Generate data, store it in a declarative file, and then display it. This has the advantage of decoupling the choice of computation and display languages.
Some kind of standalone plotting system, like gnuplot. Or use R. R must have nice packages (right?) that will take a functional description of the vector field, and apply nice numerical methods, to compute and display the flow lines, etc. Maybe this outweighs the software engineering wish to decouple the computation language from the rendering system.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.