Porting the AVS/Express scientific visualization software to cray XT4

George W. Leaver, Martin J. Turner, James S. Perrin, Paul M. Mummery, Philip J. Withers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Remote scientific visualization, where rendering services are provided by larger scale systems than are available on the desktop, is becoming increasingly important as dataset sizes increase beyond the capabilities of desktop workstations. Uptake of such services relies on access to suitable visualization applications and the ability to view the resulting visualization in a convenient form. We consider five rules from the e-Science community to meet these goals with the porting of a commercial visualization package to a largescale system. The application uses message-passing interface (MPI) to distribute data among data processing and rendering processes. The use of MPI in such an interactive application is not compatible with restrictions imposed by the Cray system being considered. We present details, and performance analysis, of a new MPI proxy method that allows the application to run within the Cray environment yet still support MPI communication required by the application. Example use cases from materials science are considered. © 2011 The Royal Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3398-3412
    Number of pages14
    JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
    Issue number1949
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2011


    • Distributed rendering
    • E-Science
    • Image compositing
    • Scientific visualization
    • Sort-last rendering
    • Supercomputing


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