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Minimizing development costs for efficient many-core visualization using MCD3...

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Parallel Computing
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Scientific visualization software increasingly needs to support many-core architectures. However, development time is a significant challenge due to the breadth and diversity of both visualization algorithms and architectures. With this work, we introduce a development environment for visualization algorithms on many-core devices that extends the traditional data-parallel primitive (DPP) approach with several existing constructs and an important new construct: meta-DPPs. We refer to our approach as MCD3 — Meta-DPPs, Convenience routines, Data management, DPPs, and Devices. The twin goals of MCD3 are to reduce developer time and to deliver efficient performance on many-core architectures, and our evaluation considers both of these goals. For development time, we study 57 algorithms implemented in the VTK-m software library and determine that MCD3 leads to significant savings. For efficient performance, we survey ten studies looking at individual algorithms and determine that the MCD3 hardware-agnostic approach leads to performance comparable to hardware-specific approaches: sometimes better, sometimes worse, and better in the aggregate. In total, we find that MCD3 is an effective approach for scientific visualization libraries to support many-core architectures.