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Proceedings Paper

Single-pass GPU-raycasting for structured adaptive mesh refinement data
Author(s): Ralf Kaehler; Tom Abel
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Paper Abstract

Structured Adaptive Mesh Refinement (SAMR) is a popular numerical technique to study processes with high spatial and temporal dynamic range. It reduces computational requirements by adapting the lattice on which the underlying differential equations are solved to most efficiently represent the solution. Particularly in astrophysics and cosmology such simulations now can capture spatial scales ten orders of magnitude apart and more. The irregular locations and extensions of the refined regions in the SAMR scheme and the fact that different resolution levels partially overlap, poses a challenge for GPU-based direct volume rendering methods. kD-trees have proven to be advantageous to subdivide the data domain into non-overlapping blocks of equally sized cells, optimal for the texture units of current graphics hardware, but previous GPU-supported raycasting approaches for SAMR data using this data structure required a separate rendering pass for each node, preventing the application of many advanced lighting schemes that require simultaneous access to more than one block of cells. In this paper we present the first single-pass GPU-raycasting algorithm for SAMR data that is based on a kD-tree. The tree is efficiently encoded by a set of 3D-textures, which allows to adaptively sample complete rays entirely on the GPU without any CPU interaction. We discuss two different data storage strategies to access the grid data on the GPU and apply them to several datasets to prove the benefits of the proposed method.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 February 2013
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8654, Visualization and Data Analysis 2013, 865408 (4 February 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2008552
Show Author Affiliations
Ralf Kaehler, SLAC National Accelerator Lab (United States)
Tom Abel, SLAC National Accelerator Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8654:
Visualization and Data Analysis 2013
Pak Chung Wong; David L. Kao; Ming C. Hao; Chaomei Chen, Editor(s)

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