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Data distribution strategies for high-resolution displays

Computers & Graphics, October 2001

Han Chen, Yuqun Chen, Adam Finkelstein,
Thomas Funkhouser, Kai Li, Zhiyan Liu,
Rudrajit Samanta, Grant Wallace

Large-scale and high-resolution displays are increasingly being used for next-generation interactive 3D graphics applications, including large-scale data visualization, immersive virtual environments, and collaborative design. These systems must include a very high-performance and scalable 3D rendering subsystem in order to generate high-resolution images at real-time frame rates.

We are investigating how to build such a system using only inexpensive commodity components in a PC cluster. The main challenge is to develop scalable algorithms to partition and distribute rendering tasks effectively under the bandwidth, processing, and storage constraints of a distributed system. In this paper, we compare three different approaches that differ in the type of data transmitted from client to display servers: control, primitives, or pixels. For each approach, we describe our initial experiments with a working prototype system driving a multi-projector display wall with a PC cluster. We find that different approaches are suitable for different system architectures, with the best choice depending on the communication bandwidth, storage capacity, and processing power of the clients and display servers.

Han Chen, Yuqun Chen, Adam Finkelstein, Thomas Funkhouser, Kai Li, Zhiyan Liu, Rudrajit Samanta, and Grant Wallace.
"Data distribution strategies for high-resolution displays."
Computers & Graphics 25(5):811-818, October 2001.


   author = "Han Chen and Yuqun Chen and Adam Finkelstein and Thomas Funkhouser and
      Kai Li and Zhiyan Liu and Rudrajit Samanta and Grant Wallace",
   title = "Data distribution strategies for high-resolution displays",
   journal = "Computers & Graphics",
   year = "2001",
   month = oct,
   volume = "25",
   number = "5",
   pages = "811--818"