24 January 2011 GPU-accelerated visualization of protein dynamics in ribbon mode
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Abstract
Proteins are biomolecules present in living organisms and essential for carrying out vital functions. Inherent to their functioning is folding into different spatial conformations, and to understand these processes, it is crucial to visually explore the structural changes. In recent years, significant advancements in experimental techniques and novel algorithms for post-processing of protein data have routinely revealed static and dynamic structures of increasing sizes. In turn, interactive visualization of the systems and their transitions became more challenging. Therefore, much research for the efficient display of protein dynamics has been done, with the focus being space filling models, but for the important class of abstract ribbon or cartoon representations, there exist only few methods for an efficient rendering. Yet, these models are of high interest to scientists, as they provide a compact and concise description of the structure elements along the protein main chain. In this work, a method was developed to speed up ribbon and cartoon visualizations. Separating two phases in the calculation of geometry allows to offload computational work from the CPU to the GPU. The first phase consists of computing a smooth curve along the protein's main chain on the CPU. In the second phase, conducted independently by the GPU, vertices along that curve are moved to set up the final geometrical representation of the molecule.
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Manuel Wahle, Stefan Birmanns, "GPU-accelerated visualization of protein dynamics in ribbon mode", Proc. SPIE 7868, Visualization and Data Analysis 2011, 786805 (24 January 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.872458; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.872458
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