Realtime Computer Graphics on the Grid (2003-2006) | Professor Nigel W. John

Professor Nigel W. John FEG FLSW

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Realtime Computer Graphics on the Grid (2003-2006)

This project developed Java implemented Grid Visualization (jgViz), a Grid-based, distributed graphics pipeline system (Fewings & John, 2007). It used standard Grid technologies and the Chromium cluster graphics software. Using the Metacomputing Directory Service (MDS) to discover available resources, jgViz will schedule the best graphics pipeline available to suit the OpenGL application being run, launch the pipeline components using the Globus Resource Allocation Manager (GRAM), and then monitor performance taking corrective measures where necessary. User interaction is through a graphical interface implemented using Java and the Commodity Grid Toolkit, enabling easy access to visualization resources.

The jgViz system will support any OpenGL 1.5 compliant application. The image above is from jgViz running a publicly available Roller Coaster simulation, which places variable geometry demands on the graphics pipeline. The roller coaster tracks are drawn using different levels-of-detail as per their distance from the ‘camera’. The velocity variation within the simulation and the variable rate of graphics rendering produce a good scenario for monitoring the pipeline performance. The pipeline created can be scheduled to provide best performance in either a tiled-wall or readback compositing configuration.

Fewings A.J. (2006). Real-Time and Interactive Computer Graphics in Grid Environments. PhD Thesis, Bangor University. The project was undertaken by my PhD student Ade Fewings. Ade is currently a systems engineer working for HPC Wales.

Further Reading

  1. Fewings, A. J., & John, N. W. (2007). Distributed graphics pipelines on the grid. Distributed Systems Online, IEEE, 8(1), 1–1.