*Ph.D. Thesis by Vlastimil Havran, November 2000*

*Defence date: 20 April 2001*

*Czech Technical University,
Faculty of Electrical Engineering,
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
*

Oponents:

Eduard Groeller, Vienna University of Technology, Austria

Szirmay-Kalos László,
Technical University in Budapest, Hungary

Jaroslav Pokorny, Charles University in Prague, the Czech Republic

*Global illumination research aiming at the photo-realistic
image synthesis pushes forward research in computer graphics as a
whole. The computation of visually plausible images is
time-consuming and far from being realtime at present. A significant
part of computation in global illumination algorithms involves
repetitive computing of visibility queries.*

* In the thesis, we describe our results in
ray shooting, which is
a well-known problem in the field of visibility. The problem is
difficult in spite of its simple definition: For a given oriented
half-line and a set of objects, find out the first object
intersected by the half-line if such an object exists. A
naive algorithm has the time complexity $O(N)$, where $N$
is the number of objects. The naive algorithm is practically
inapplicable in global illumination applications for a scene with
a high number of objects, due its huge time requirements. In this
thesis we deal with heuristic ray shooting algorithms that use
additional spatial data structures. We put stress on average-case
complexity and we particularly investigate the ray shooting
algorithms based on spatial hierarchies. In the thesis we deal
with two major topics.*

* In the first part of the thesis, we introduce
a ray shooting
computation model and performance model. Based on these two models
we develop a methodology for comparing various ray shooting
algorithms for a set of experiments performed on a set of
scenes. Consecutively, we compare common heuristic ray shooting
algorithms based on BSP trees, kd-trees, octrees, bounding volume
hierarchies, uniform grids, and three types of hierarchical grids
using a set of 30 scenes from Standard Procedural Database. We
show that for this set of scenes the ray shooting algorithm based
on the kd-tree is the winning candidate among all tested ray
shooting algorithms.*

* The second and major part of the thesis
presents several techniques for decreasing the time and space complexity for ray
shooting algorithms based on kd-tree. We deal with both kd-tree
construction and ray traversal algorithms. In the context of kd-tree
construction, we present new methods for adaptive construction of
the kd-tree using empty spatial regions in the scene, termination
criteria, general cost model for the kd-tree, and modified surface
area heuristics for a restricted set of rays. Further, we describe
a new version of the recursive ray traversal algorithm. In context
of the recursive ray traversal algorithm based on the kd-tree, we
develop the concept of the largest common traversal sequence. This
reduces the number of hierarchical traversal steps in the kd-tree
for certain ray sets. We also describe one technique closely related
to computer architecture, namely mapping kd-tree nodes to memory to
increase the cache hit ratio for processors with a large cache
line. Most of the techniques proposed in the thesis can be used in
combination. In practice, the average time complexity of the ray
shooting algorithms based on the kd-tree, as presented in this thesis,
is about $O(log N)$, where the hidden multiplicative factor
depends on the input data. However, at present it is not known
to have been proved theoretically for scenes with general
distribution of objects. For these reasons our findings are
supported by a set of experiments for the above-mentioned set of
30 scenes.*

- BIB BibTeX entry
- PDF disssvh.pdf [7492 KB]
- PS dissvh.ps.gz [17721 KB]
- The Addendum A1 "On the kd-tree construction algorithms with surface area heuristics" was added in ASCII on 19 November, 2005.

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