Parallel On-Demand Hierarchy Construction on Contemporary GPUs

Marek Vinkler Vlastimil Havran Jiří Bittner Jiří Sochor
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 22(7):1886-1898, 2016
We present the first parallel on-demand spatial hierarchy construction algorithm targeting ray tracing on many-core processors such as GPUs. The method performs simultaneous ray traversal and spatial hierarchy construction focused on the parts of the data structure being traversed. The method is based on a versatile framework built around a task pool and runs entirely on the GPU. We show that the on-demand construction can improve rendering times compared to full hierarchy construction. We evaluate our method on both object (BVH) and space (kd-tree) subdivision data structures and compare them mutually. The on-demand method is particularly beneficial for rendering large scenes with high occlusion. We also present SAH kd-tree builder that outperforms previous state-of-the-art builders running on the GPU.