1 December 2011 Monte Carlo simulation of photon migration in a cloud computing environment with MapReduce
Author Affiliations +
J. of Biomedical Optics, 16(12), 125003 (2011). doi:10.1117/1.3656964
Monte Carlo simulation is considered the most reliable method for modeling photon migration in heterogeneous media. However, its widespread use is hindered by the high computational cost. The purpose of this work is to report on our implementation of a simple MapReduce method for performing fault-tolerant Monte Carlo computations in a massively-parallel cloud computing environment. We ported the MC321 Monte Carlo package to Hadoop, an open-source MapReduce framework. In this implementation, Map tasks compute photon histories in parallel while a Reduce task scores photon absorption. The distributed implementation was evaluated on a commercial compute cloud. The simulation time was found to be linearly dependent on the number of photons and inversely proportional to the number of nodes. For a cluster size of 240 nodes, the simulation of 100 billion photon histories took 22 min, a 1258 × speed-up compared to the single-threaded Monte Carlo program. The overall computational throughput was 85,178 photon histories per node per second, with a latency of 100 s. The distributed simulation produced the same output as the original implementation and was resilient to hardware failure: the correctness of the simulation was unaffected by the shutdown of 50% of the nodes.
Guillem Pratx, Lei Xing, "Monte Carlo simulation of photon migration in a cloud computing environment with MapReduce," Journal of Biomedical Optics 16(12), 125003 (1 December 2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3656964
Submission: Received ; Accepted

Monte Carlo methods

Photon transport


Computer simulations

Algorithm development


Computer programming

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