Parallel and Scalable Heat Methods for Geodesic Distance Computation

by   Jiong Tao, et al.

In this paper, we propose a parallel and scalable approach for geodesic distance computation on triangle meshes. Our key observation is that the recovery of geodesic distance in the heat method [Crane et al. 2017] can be reformulated as an optimization of its gradients subject to integrability, which can be solved using an efficient fixed-order method that requires no linear system solving and converges quickly. Afterwards, the geodesic distance is efficiently recovered by parallel integration of the optimized gradients in breadth-first order. Moreover, we employ a similar breadth-first strategy to derive a parallel Gauss-Seidel solver for the diffusion step in the heat method. To further lower the memory consumption from gradient optimization on faces, we also propose a formulation that optimizes the projected gradients on edges, further reducing the memory footprint by about 50%. Our approach is trivially parallelizable, with a low memory footprint that grows linearly with respect to the model size. This makes it particularly suitable for handling large models. Experimental results show that it can efficiently compute geodesic distance on meshes with more than 200 million vertices on a desktop PC with 128GB RAM, outperforming the original heat method and other state-of-the-art geodesic distance solvers.


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