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When using ParaView's co-processing tools for running large scale problems on supercomputers, a variety of issues arise which aren't concerns for small scale runs. One such issue is the executable size.

The main purpose of Catalyst is to reduce the amount and size of libraries that a simulation code needs to link to in order to perform in situ analysis and visualization. For example, if rendering (i.e. exporting screenshots) is not needed, a significant reduction can be obtained by not linking in any OpenGL libraries as well as all of the rendering and compositing parts of ParaView. Additionally, there is a large amount of filters in ParaView and VTK but often a user will only need to use a small handful of them in order to do their work. Catalyst can also reduce the amount of filters that are built into the libraries as well. Since the set of required filters to perform a desired analysis will vary from user to user, the Catalyst libraries need to be easily configurable.

To simplify the process, inside of ParaView there are some default configurations. We refer to these as editions. It should be noted that multiple editions can be combined into a single output. Information on creating editions is in the ParaView Catalyst User's Guide. When the desired editions are available, the directions for building a configured set of Catalyst libraries are the following: