MSc Thesis Defence: Explicit Memory Management for Mesh Traversal -Yuan(Karen) Liu
Mesh traversal is a common and essential geometry processing problem in computer graphics. The traversal typically processes each face in a mesh in a systematic and consistent order for different applications such as mesh compression, rendering and mesh simplification. While cache-efficient mesh traversal methods where data and computations are reordered for good cache reuse have been well-studied, their performances are limited by implicit(automatic) memory management. In this work we explore optimizations on Explicitly Managed Memory (EMM) systems.
EMM hardware has no automatic caching or prefetching. Instead, programmers decide what, when and where data are placed in the memory hierarchy, and manually initiate data transfers. Having programmers understand the hierarchies and manually move the data, however, can be challenging. We address this challenge by introducing an access-oriented interface construct. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the interface and the runtime improvement obtained for several mesh traversal algorithms with different access patterns.