Bilkent University
Department of Computer Engineering


Hardware-accelerated Direct Visualization of Unstructured Volumetric Meshes


Alper Şahıstan
Master Student
(Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Uğur Güdükbay )
Computer Engineering Department
Bilkent University

Abstract: Computational fluid dynamic simulations often produce large clusters of finite elements with non-trivial, non-convex boundaries and uneven distributions among compute nodes, posing challenges to compositing during interactive volume rendering. Correct, in-place visualization of such clusters becomes difficult because viewing rays straddle domain boundaries across multiple compute nodes. We propose a GPU-based, scalable, memory-efficient direct volume visualization framework suitable for in~situ and post~hoc usage. Our approach reduces memory usage of the unstructured volume elements by leveraging an exclusive or-based index reduction scheme and provides fast ray-marching-based traversal without requiring large external data structures built over the elements. Moreover, we present a GPU-optimized deep compositing scheme that allows correct order compositing of intermediate color values accumulated across different ranks that works even for non-convex clusters. Furthermore, we illustrate that we can achieve secondary effects such as shadows and gradient shading using our method for single GPU setups. Our approach scales well on large data-parallel systems and achieves interactive frame rates during visualization. We can interactively render Fun3D Small Mars Lander (14 GB / 798.4 million finite elements) and Huge Mars Lander (111.57 GB / 6.4 billion finite elements) data sets at 14 and 10 frames per second using 72 and 80 GPUs, respectively, on TACC's Frontera supercomputer.


DATE: 19 July 2022, Tuesday @ 10:00 Zoom