SU-E-J-60: Efficient Monte Carlo Dose Calculation On CPU-GPU Heterogeneous Systems




It is well-known that the performance of GPU-based Monte Carlo dose calculation implementations is bounded by memory bandwidth. One major cause of this bottleneck is the random memory writing patterns in dose deposition, which leads to several memory efficiency issues on GPU such as un-coalesced writing and atomic operations. We propose a new method to alleviate such issues on CPU-GPU heterogeneous systems, which achieves overall performance improvement for Monte Carlo dose calculation.


Dose deposition is to accumulate dose into the voxels of a dose volume along the trajectories of radiation rays. Our idea is to partition this procedure into the following three steps, which are fine-tuned for CPU or GPU: (1) each GPU thread writes dose results with location information to a buffer on GPU memory, which achieves fully-coalesced and atomic-free memory transactions; (2) the dose results in the buffer are transferred to CPU memory; (3) the dose volume is constructed from the dose buffer on CPU. We organize the processing of all radiation rays into streams. Since the steps within a stream use different hardware resources (i.e., GPU, DMA, CPU), we can overlap the execution of these steps for different streams by pipelining.


We evaluated our method using a Monte Carlo Convolution Superposition (MCCS) program and tested our implementation for various clinical cases on a heterogeneous system containing an Intel i7 quad-core CPU and an NVIDIA TITAN GPU. Comparing with a straightforward MCCS implementation on the same system (using both CPU and GPU for radiation ray tracing), our method gained 2-5X speedup without losing dose calculation accuracy.


The results show that our new method improves the effective memory bandwidth and overall performance for MCCS on the CPU-GPU systems. Our proposed method can also be applied to accelerate other Monte Carlo dose calculation approaches.

This research was supported in part by NSF under Grants CCF-1217906, and also in part by a research contract from the Sandia National Laboratories.