Parallel Banding Algorithm to compute exact distance transform with the GPU

Thanh T. Cao, Ke Tang, Anis Mohamed, Tiow S. Tan
School of Computing, National University of Singapore
In I3D ’10: Proceedings of the 2010 ACM SIGGRAPH symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games (2010), pp. 83-90.


   title={Parallel banding algorithm to compute exact distance transform with the GPU},

   author={Cao, T.T. and Tang, K. and Mohamed, A. and Tan, T.S.},

   booktitle={Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games},





We propose a Parallel Banding Algorithm (PBA) on the GPU to compute the exact Euclidean Distance Transform (EDT) for a binary image in 2D and higher dimensions. Partitioning the image into small bands to process and then merging them concurrently, PBA computes the exact EDT with optimal linear total work, high level of parallelism and a good memory access pattern. This work is the first attempt to exploit the enormous power of the GPU in computing the exact EDT, while prior works are only on approximation. Compared to these other algorithms in our experiments, our exact algorithm is still a few times faster in 2D and 3D for most input sizes. We illustrate the use of our algorithm in applications such as computing the Euclidean skeleton using the integer medial axis transform, performing morphological operations of 3D volumetric data, and constructing 2D weighted centroidal Voronoi diagrams.
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