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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Knowledge Base Wiki?

The ERCOFTAC Knowledge Base Wiki is a new interactive concept for compiling, structuring, sharing and exchanging knowledge and best practice advice for a wide range of CFD applications. It is intended to underpin quality and trust in the industrial applications of CFD and also to increase our knowledge about, and the predictability of, generic flows that can be found in the practical application examples.

What does the Wiki contain?

The knowledge base test cases are application centred, facilitating the identification of appropriate knowledge and advice for specific industrial purposes. They are organised around;

Application Areas

  • Each Application Area is comprised of Application Challenges (AC) which are realistic industrial test cases used to judge the competency and limitations of CFD for a given Application Area.

Underlying Flow Regimes

  • These are generic, well studied test cases capturing important elements of the key flow physics encountered across the Application Areas.

What does each AC and UFR test case article contain?

Each test case article contains the following group of doucments:

  • A brief abstract of what the test case article contains
  • A detailed description of the problem addressed
  • A description of the test data used
  • The CFD methods used and the results obtained for this case
  • Comparison of CFD results and experimental data
  • Best Practice advice for this type of case

What software is used for this wiki?

This web site uses the MediaWiki wiki framework [1]. Wikipedia fans will notice the similar appearance to Wikipedia: this is because MediaWiki powers both (look for the little image in the bottom right hand side of each page...). The software used for the forums is phpBB3.

What content can I add?

Authors of new content can upload text, images and are provided facilities for editing equations. You can also insert links to other web sites and file repositories.

All content and submissions have to be in Mediawiki Text format. If you wish to submit a word document you will have to convert your word document first, by using a HTML converter, into the desired MediaWiki Text. Once this has been achieved a simple copy and paste is all that is required. To do this firstly load the word doc file into OpenOffice and save it as a HTML file. Next, load the HTML file into a browser and paste the HTML into the web-based converter found here. Select the correct wiki format which must be MediaWiki Text and press the button. Then simply paste the converter output into the wiki editor when making your contribution and clean up by hand.

To insert equations you will need to use LaTex. Examples of how to contribute equations can be found here. Look for more information at the MediaWiki web site if you plan to use equations.

At present data files can only be uploaded by special arrangement with the site administrators. This is still being worked on and we hope to have an improved mechanism for uploading these files soon.

How do I contribute a new article or modify an existing article?

The procedure for entering new content into the Wiki is described here.


All sections of the Knowledge Base can be accessed by clicking on the left hand navigational drop down menu. By pointing the cursor at the links, a roll out drop down menu will appear where further pages relating to the chosen topic will be displayed. If a drop down menu does not appear, simply click on the link and you will go directly to that page.

The content of each AC and UFR test case article are presented in the top navigational strip. Simply click on each tab heading to view and move between the various documents. Note that the heading turns "yellow" once selected.

You will also find the exact same navigational strip at the bottom of each AC and UFR test case article to prevent having to keep scrolling up the page to go to the next document in the particular AC or UFR. Please see How to Navigate around the Knowledge Base.

We plan to improve the navigation features over time.

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What are these Semantic Web extensions I hear about?

In the Semantic Web resources such as web sites, files, users, databases etc can be annotated with properties that conveys further information about them. If these resources have the appropriate properties, then deductions can be made about the type of resource they are. In this way, searches and retrievals for web resources can be made more specific and the generated search results rendered more reliable than one based on keywords alone.

In MediaWiki there is a Semantic Web extension that can be used to conduct searches over annotated articles within the Wiki itself. This search technology can be used to automatically generate tables of articles that belong to specific categories that a user is interested in. If this is adopted, then management of the Wiki is simplified with the result of a better organised presentation of the web site to the user.

A recent internal project has made some preliminary investigations of this aspect of MediaWiki. Follow the links in the Navigation Menu (eg, Tool Box/Extension Demos/Semantic Demo) to see some simple examples of how Semantic MediaWiki technology can be used. Alternatively, follow the links below:

In the second link, click on a sub-category link until you get to the last child category. You should then see a table of automatically generated articles that belong to that category.