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Earthshine blog

"Earthshine blog"

A blog about a system to determine terrestrial albedo by earthshine observations. Feasible thanks to sheer determination.

More CPU/GPU tests

Post-Obs scattered-light rem.Posted by Chris Flynn Dec 30, 2012 12:07AM
I have been looking at the use of GPUs versus CPUs for our scattered light analysis. We need to be able to convolve artificial Lunar images (outside the atmosphere) with the instrument PSF. GPUs offer a considerable speed advantage.

First look (CPU versus GPU):

Upper left panel: artificial lunar image outside the atmosphere.

This artificial image is then convolved with a 2-D Gaussian-like PSF which has fat (powerlaw) tails, and which closely reproduces what we see in real data.

Upper right panel: convolution using 2-D FFT code running on a CPU

Lower left panel: convolution using 2-D FFT code running on a GPU

Lower right panel: the ratio of the two methods, i.e. the ratio of the two previous panels

There is a lot of structure in there, mainly images of the lunar crescent turning up in different places -- at a level of about 0.1% of the intensity.

IMPORTANT: the CPU code was written in double precision, whereas the GPU was in single precision.

(The above reproduces with more explanation an earlier post)

Notes: The CPU code calls the FFTW3 libraries from Fortran (Dec's ifort compiler is used), just using the standard Fortran to C wrappers provided with FFTW3. The GPU code is in written in CUDA.

Second look (CPU only, single versus double precision):

The plot above shows the ratio of the single precision CPU versus double precision CPU (i.e. no GPU results shown on this plot).

There is similar structure in the ratio -- and at about the same level as the GPU tests gave, i.e. discrepancies at the level of a few x 0.1% of the intensity.

Third look (CPU in double precision, renormalisation)

In this plot we compare CPU double precision, applied to the ideal Lunar image, and without "min/max renormalisation". (Min/max renormalisation means scaling the input image so that the smallest value in the frame is 0.0 and the largest value is 1.0).

The ratio panel of the two convolutions (bottom right) shows noise only, and at a very low level -- 1 part in 1E7. Highly acceptable!

Fourth look (CPU, single precision, renormalisation)

This plot shows the same as the previous one -- but with single precision rather than double. The artefacts are back, at the same old level of a few x 0.1%!


We might already be able to conclude from the above that double precision FFT/CPU is robust (negligible artefacts), but that a single precision CPU, or a single precision GPU, produces similar sized (few x 0.1%), and thus slightly worrying, artefacts.

But I need access to a double precision GPU to test this. Hope to do so next week!
The acid test will be the results of comparing double precision on a CPU to a GPU.

  • Comments(2)

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Posted by Chris Flynn Dec 30, 2012 03:11AM

You're right --I am starting to think there is something to the GPU after all! I'll get access to double precision next week I hope... let's see!

Posted by Peter Dec 30, 2012 03:04AM

Very good indeed - we need GPU speeds: EFM takes 3 days to do all images.