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Silo reads and writes a wide variety of scientific data to binary disk files. The files Silo produces and the data within them can be easily shared and exchanged between wholly independently developed applications running on disparate computing platforms. Consequently, Silo facilitates the development of general purpose tools for processing scientific data. One of the more popular tools that process Silo data files is the VisIt visualization tool (ascl:1103.007).
Silo supports gridless (point) meshes, structured meshes, unstructured-zoo and unstructured-arbitrary-polyhedral meshes, block structured AMR meshes, constructive solid geometry (CSG) meshes, piecewise-constant (e.g., zone-centered) and piecewise-linear (e.g. node-centered) variables defined on the node, edge, face or volume elements of meshes as well as the decomposition of meshes into arbitrary subset hierarchies including materials and mixing materials. In addition, Silo supports a wide variety of other useful objects to address various scientific computing application needs. Although the Silo library is a serial library, it has features that enable it to be applied quite effectively and scalable in parallel.