Real-Time Concurrent Linked List Construction on the GPU

Jason C. Yang, Justin Hensley, Holger Grun, Nicolas Thibieroz
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Computer Graphics Forum, Volume 29, Issue 4, pages 12971304, June 2010


   title={Real-Time Concurrent Linked List Construction on the GPU},

   author={Yang, J.C. and Hensley, J. and Gr{\”u}n, H. and Thibieroz, N.},

   booktitle={Computer Graphics Forum},






   organization={Wiley Online Library}


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We introduce a method to dynamically construct highly concurrent linked lists on modern graphics processors. Once constructed, these data structures can be used to implement a host of algorithms useful in creating complex rendering effects in real time. We present a straightforward way to create these linked lists using generic atomic operations available in APIs such as OpenGL 4.0 and DirectX 11. We also describe several possible applications of our algorithm. One example uses per-pixel linked lists for order-independent transparency; as a consequence, we are able to directly implement fully programmable blending, which frees developers from the restrictions imposed by current graphics APIs. The second uses linked lists to implement real-time indirect shadows.
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