Glimmer: Multilevel MDS on the GPU

Stephen Ingram, Tamara Munzner and Marc Olano

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 15(2):249-261, Mar/Apr 2009.
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We present Glimmer, a new multilevel algorithm for multidimensional scaling designed to exploit modern graphics processing unit (GPU) hardware. We also present GPU-SF, a parallel, force-based subsystem used by Glimmer. Glimmer organizes input into a hierarchy of levels and recursively applies GPU-SF to combine and refine the levels. The multilevel nature of the algorithm makes local minima less likely while the GPU parallelism improves speed of computation. We propose a robust termination condition for GPU-SF based on a filtered approximation of the normalized stress function. We demonstrate the benefits of Glimmer in terms of speed, normalized stress, and visual quality against several previous algorithms for a range of synthetic and real benchmark datasets. We also show that the performance of Glimmer on GPUs is substantially faster than a CPU implementation of the same algorithm.



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