GPU-Based Interactive Visualization of Billion Point Cosmological Simulations

Tamas Szalay, Volker Springel, Gerard Lemson
California Institute of Technology, California Ave, 91126, Pasadena, CA
arXiv:0811.2055v2 [cs.GR] (13 Nov 2008)


   title={GPU-Based Interactive Visualization of Billion Point Cosmological Simulations},

   author={Szalay, T. and Springel, V. and Lemson, G.},

   journal={Arxiv preprint arXiv:0811.2055},



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Despite the recent advances in graphics hardware capabilities, a brute force approach is incapable of interactively displaying terabytes of data. We have implemented a system that uses hierarchical level-of-detailing for the results of cosmological simulations, in order to display visually accurate results without loading in the full dataset (containing over 10 billion points). The guiding principle of the program is that the user should not be able to distinguish what they are seeing from a full rendering of the original data. Furthermore, by using a tree-based system for levels of detail, the size of the underlying data is limited only by the capacity of the IO system containing it.
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