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Portability and Cross-Platform Performance of an MPI-Based Parallel Polygon RendererVisualizing the results of computations performed on large-scale parallel computers is a challenging problem, due to the size of the datasets involved. One approach is to perform the visualization and graphics operations in place, exploiting the available parallelism to obtain the necessary rendering performance. Over the past several years, we have been developing algorithms and software to support visualization applications on NASA's parallel supercomputers. Our results have been incorporated into a parallel polygon rendering system called PGL. PGL was initially developed on tightly-coupled distributed-memory message-passing systems, including Intel's iPSC/860 and Paragon, and IBM's SP2. Over the past year, we have ported it to a variety of additional platforms, including the HP Exemplar, SGI Origin2OOO, Cray T3E, and clusters of Sun workstations. In implementing PGL, we have had two primary goals: cross-platform portability and high performance. Portability is important because (1) our manpower resources are limited, making it difficult to develop and maintain multiple versions of the code, and (2) NASA's complement of parallel computing platforms is diverse and subject to frequent change. Performance is important in delivering adequate rendering rates for complex scenes and ensuring that parallel computing resources are used effectively. Unfortunately, these two goals are often at odds. In this paper we report on our experiences with portability and performance of the PGL polygon renderer across a range of parallel computing platforms.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Crockett, Thomas W.
(Institute for Computer Applications in Science and Engineering Hampton, VA United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: HPCCP/CAS Workshop Proceedings 1998
Subject Category
Computer Systems
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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