An Effective Load Balancing Scheme for 3D Texture-Based Sort-Last Parallel Volume Rendering on GPU Clusters

Won-Jong LEE  Vason P. SRINI  Woo-Chan PARK  Shigeru MURAKI  Tack-Don HAN  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E91-D   No.3   pp.846-856
Publication Date: 2008/03/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1093/ietisy/e91-d.3.846
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Computer Graphics
Keyword: 
octree,  BSP tree,  hierarchical visualization,  parallel rendering,  volume rendering,  adaptive dynamic load balancing,  

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Summary: 
We present an adaptive dynamic load balancing scheme for 3D texture based sort-last parallel volume rendering on a PC cluster equipped with GPUs. Our scheme exploits not only task parallelism but also data parallelism during rendering by combining the hierarchical data structures (octree and parallel BSP tree) in order to skip empty regions and distribute proper workloads to rendering nodes. Our scheme can also conduct a valid parallel rendering and image compositing in visibility order by employing a 3D clustering algorithm. To alleviate the imbalance when the transfer function is changed, a load rebalancing is inexpensively supported by exchanging only needed data. A detailed performance analysis is provided and scaling characteristics of our scheme are discussed. These show that our scheme can achieve significant performance gains by increasing parallelism and decreasing synchronizing costs compared to the traditional static distribution schemes.