Parallel Algorithm for GPU Processing; for use in High Speed Machine Vision Sensing of Cotton Lint Trash

Mathew Pelletier
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Services, Lubbock Tx. USA
Sensors, Vol. 8, No. 2. (08 February 2008), pp. 817-829.


   title={Parallel Algorithm for GPU Processing; for use in High Speed Machine Vision Sensing of Cotton Lint Trash},

   author={Pelletier, M.G.},








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One of the main hurdles standing in the way of optimal cleaning of cotton lint isthe lack of sensing systems that can react fast enough to provide the control system withreal-time information as to the level of trash contamination of the cotton lint. This researchexamines the use of programmable graphic processing units (GPU) as an alternative to thePC’s traditional use of the central processing unit (CPU). The use of the GPU, as analternative computation platform, allowed for the machine vision system to gain asignificant improvement in processing time. By improving the processing time, thisresearch seeks to address the lack of availability of rapid trash sensing systems and thusalleviate a situation in which the current systems view the cotton lint either well before, orafter, the cotton is cleaned. This extended lag/lead time that is currently imposed on thecotton trash cleaning control systems, is what is responsible for system operators utilizing avery large dead-band safety buffer in order to ensure that the cotton lint is not undercleaned.Unfortunately, the utilization of a large dead-band buffer results in the majority ofthe cotton lint being over-cleaned which in turn causes lint fiber-damage as well assignificant losses of the valuable lint due to the excessive use of cleaning machinery. Thisresearch estimates that upwards of a 30% reduction in lint loss could be gained through theuse of a tightly coupled trash sensor to the cleaning machinery control systems. Thisresearch seeks to improve processing times through the development of a new algorithm forcotton trash sensing that allows for implementation on a highly parallel architecture.Additionally, by moving the new parallel algorithm onto an alternative computing platform,the graphic processing unit “GPU”, for processing of the cotton trash images, a speed up ofover 6.5 times, over optimized code running on the PC’s central processing unit “CPU”, wasgained. The new parallel algorithm operating on the GPU was able to process a 1024x1024image in less than 17ms. At this improved speed, the image processing system’s performance should now be sufficient to provide a system that would be capable of realtimefeed-back control that is in tight cooperation with the cleaning equipment.
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