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Optimized data transfer for time-dependent, GPU-based glyphs

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3 Author(s)
Grottel, S. ; Inst. for Visualization & Interactive Syst., Univ. Stuttgart, Stuttgart ; Reina, G. ; Ertl, T.

Particle-based simulations are a popular tool for researchers in various sciences. In combination with the availability of ever larger COTS clusters and the consequently increasing number of simulated particles the resulting datasets pose a challenge for real-time visualization. Additionally the semantic density of the particles exceeds the possibilities of basic glyphs, like splats or spheres and results in dataset sizes larger by at least an order of magnitude. Interactive visualization on common workstations requires a careful optimization of the data management, especially of the transfer between CPU and GPU. We propose a flexible benchmarking tool along with a series of tests to allow the evaluation of the performance of different CPU/GPU combinations in relation to a particular implementation. We evaluate different uploading strategies and rendering methods for point-based compound glyphs suitable for representing the aforementioned datasets. CPU and GPU-based approaches are compared with respect to their rendering and storage efficiency to point out the optimal solution when dealing with time-dependent datasets. The results of our research are of general interest since they can be transferred to other applications where CPU-GPU bandwidth and a high number of graphical primitives per dataset pose a problem. The employed tool set for streamlining the measurement process is made publicly available.

Published in:

Visualization Symposium, 2009. PacificVis '09. IEEE Pacific

Date of Conference:

20-23 April 2009