Quantitative analysis of voxel raytracing acceleration structures

M. G. Chajdas, R. Westermann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In this work, we provide a comprehensive analysis of GPU acceleration structures for voxel raytracing. We compare the commonly used octrees to BVH and KD trees, which are the standard in GPU triangle raytracing. Evaluating and analyzing of the behavior is complicated, as modern GPUs provide wide vector units with complex cache hierarchies. Even with sophisticated SIMD simulators, it is increasingly hard to model the hardware with sufficient detail to explain the observed performance. Therefore, instead of relying on SIMD simulation, we use hardware counters to directly measure key metrics like execution coherency on a modern GPU. We provide an extensive analysis comparing different acceleration structures for different raytracing scenarios like primary, diffuse and ambient occlusion rays. For different scenes we show that data structures commonly known for good performance, like KD-trees, are actually not suited for very wide SIMD units. In our work we show that BVH trees are most suitable for GPU raytracing and explain how the acceleration structure affects the execution coherency and ultimately performance, providing crucial information for the future design of GPU acceleration structures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication22nd Pacific Conference on Computer Graphics and Applications, PG 2014 - Short Papers
EditorsJohn Keyser, Young J. Kim, Peter Wonka
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783905674736
StatePublished - 2014
Event22nd Pacific Conference on Computer Graphics and Applications, PG 2014 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 8 Oct 201410 Oct 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings - Pacific Conference on Computer Graphics and Applications
ISSN (Print)1550-4085


Conference22nd Pacific Conference on Computer Graphics and Applications, PG 2014
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


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