Interactive volume exploration of petascale microscopy data streams using a visualization-driven virtual memory approach

Markus Hadwiger, Johanna Beyer, Wonki Jeong, Hanspeter Pfister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents the first volume visualization system that scales to petascale volumes imaged as a continuous stream of high-resolution electron microscopy images. Our architecture scales to dense, anisotropic petascale volumes because it: (1) decouples construction of the 3D multi-resolution representation required for visualization from data acquisition, and (2) decouples sample access time during ray-casting from the size of the multi-resolution hierarchy. Our system is designed around a scalable multi-resolution virtual memory architecture that handles missing data naturally, does not pre-compute any 3D multi-resolution representation such as an octree, and can accept a constant stream of 2D image tiles from the microscopes. A novelty of our system design is that it is visualization-driven: we restrict most computations to the visible volume data. Leveraging the virtual memory architecture, missing data are detected during volume ray-casting as cache misses, which are propagated backwards for on-demand out-of-core processing. 3D blocks of volume data are only constructed from 2D microscope image tiles when they have actually been accessed during ray-casting. We extensively evaluate our system design choices with respect to scalability and performance, compare to previous best-of-breed systems, and illustrate the effectiveness of our system for real microscopy data from neuroscience. © 1995-2012 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2285-2294
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Volume18
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

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