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dc.contributor.advisorTittley, Eric
dc.contributor.advisorMeiksin, Avery
dc.contributor.authorThomson, Samuel Paul
dc.date.accessioned2018-06-26T14:23:40Z
dc.date.available2018-06-26T14:23:40Z
dc.date.issued2018-07-02
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/31277
dc.description.abstractIn this thesis, I apply techniques from the field of computer graphics to ray tracing in astrophysical simulations, and introduce the grace software library. This is combined with an extant radiative transfer solver to produce a new package, taranis. It allows for fully-parallel particle updates via per-particle accumulation of rates, followed by a forward Euler integration step, and is manifestly photon-conserving. To my knowledge, taranis is the first ray-traced radiative transfer code to run on graphics processing units and target cosmological-scale smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) datasets. A significant optimization effort is undertaken in developing grace. Contrary to typical results in computer graphics, it is found that the bounding volume hierarchies (BVHs) used to accelerate the ray tracing procedure need not be of high quality; as a result, extremely fast BVH construction times are possible (< 0.02 microseconds per particle in an SPH dataset). I show that this exceeds the performance researchers might expect from CPU codes by at least an order of magnitude, and compares favourably to a state-of-the-art ray tracing solution. Similar results are found for the ray-tracing itself, where again techniques from computer graphics are examined for effectiveness with SPH datasets, and new optimizations proposed. For high per-source ray counts (≳ 104), grace can reduce ray tracing run times by up to two orders of magnitude compared to extant CPU solutions developed within the astrophysics community, and by a factor of a few compared to a state-of-the-art solution. taranis is shown to produce expected results in a suite of de facto cosmological radiative transfer tests cases. For some cases, it currently out-performs a serial, CPU-based alternative by a factor of a few. Unfortunately, for the most realistic test its performance is extremely poor, making the current taranis code unsuitable for cosmological radiative transfer. The primary reason for this failing is found to be a small minority of particles which always dominate the timestep criteria. Several plausible routes to mitigate this problem, while retaining parallelism, are put forward.en
dc.contributor.sponsorScience and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.subjectradiative transferen
dc.subjectGPU Computingen
dc.subjectGPGPUen
dc.subjectCUDAen
dc.subjectray tracingen
dc.subjectastrophysicsen
dc.titleRay-traced radiative transfer on massively threaded architecturesen
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen


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