Mass-spring systems on the GPU

Joachim Georgii, Rudiger Westermann
Computer Graphics and Visualization Group, Technische Universitat Munchen, Munchen, Germany
Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory In Programmable Graphics Hardware, Vol. 13, No. 8. (November 2005), pp. 693-702.


   title={Mass-spring systems on the GPU},

   author={Georgii, J. and Westermann, R.},

   journal={Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory},







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We present and analyze different implementations of mass-spring systems for interactive simulation of deformable surfaces on graphics processing units (GPUs). For the amount of springs we target, numerical time integration of spring displacements needs to be accelerated and the transfer of displaced point positions for rendering must be avoided. To fulfill these requirements, we exploit features of recent graphics accelerators to simulate spring elongation and compression on the GPU, saving displaced point masses in graphics memory, and then sending these positions through the GPU again to render the deformed surface. Two different simulation algorithms implementing scattering and gathering operations on the GPU are compared with respect to performance and numerical accuracy. We discuss GPU specific issues to be considered in simulation techniques showing similar computation and memory access patterns to mass-spring systems.
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