Memory Efficient Load Balancing for Distributed Large-Scale Volume Rendering Using a Two-Layered Group Structure

Marcus WALLDEN  Stefano MARKIDIS  Masao OKITA  Fumihiko INO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E102-D   No.12   pp.2306-2316
Publication Date: 2019/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2019PAP0003
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Parallel and Distributed Computing and Networking)
Category: Computer Graphics
large-scale visualization,  distributed computing,  load balancing,  GPU,  

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We propose a novel compositing pipeline and a dynamic load balancing technique for volume rendering which utilizes a two-layered group structure to achieve effective and scalable load balancing. The technique enables each process to render data from non-contiguous regions of the volume with minimal impact on the total render time. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed technique by performing a set of experiments on a modern GPU cluster. The experiments show that using the technique results in up to a 35.7% lower worst-case memory usage as compared to a dynamic k-d tree load balancing technique, whilst simultaneously achieving similar or higher render performance. The proposed technique was also able to lower the amount of transferred data during the load balancing stage by up to 72.2%. The technique has the potential to be used in many scenarios where other dynamic load balancing techniques have proved to be inadequate, such as during large-scale visualization.