Parallel Algorithms for Volumetric Surface Construction

TitleParallel Algorithms for Volumetric Surface Construction
Publication TypeReports
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsJaJa JF, Shi Q, Varshney A
Date Published2008///
InstitutionInstititue for Advanced Computer Studies, Univ of Maryland, College Park

Large scale scientific data sets are appearing at an increasing rate whose sizes can range from hundreds of gigabytes to tens of terabytes. Isosurface extraction and rendering is an important visualization technique that enables the visual exploration of such data sets using surfaces. However the computational requirements of this approach are substantial which in general prevent the interactive rendering of isosurfaces for large data sets. Therefore, parallel and distributed computing techniques offer a promising direction to deal with the corresponding computational challenges. In this chapter, we give a brief historical perspective of the isosurface visualization approach, and describe the basic sequential and parallel techniques used to extract and render isosurfaces with a particular focus on out-of-core techniques. For parallel algorithms, we assume a distributed memory model in which each processor has its own local disk, and processors communicate and exchange data through an interconnection network. We present a general framework for evaluating parallel isosurface extraction algorithms and describe the related best known parallel algorithms. We also describe the main parallel strategies used to handle isosurface rendering, pointing out the limitations of these strategies. 1.