High performance computing for deformable image registration: Towards a new paradigm in adaptive radiotherapy
Medical Physics (Lancaster)
The advent of readily available temporal imaging or time series volumetric ͑4D͒ imaging has become an indispensable component of treatment planning and adaptive radiotherapy ͑ART͒ at many radiotherapy centers. Deformable image registration ͑DIR͒ is also used in other areas of medical imaging, including motion corrected image reconstruction. Due to long computation time, clinical applications of DIR in radiation therapy and elsewhere have been limited and consequently relegated to offline
... s. With the recent advances in hardware and software, graphics processing unit ͑GPU͒ based computing is an emerging technology for general purpose computation, including DIR, and is suitable for highly parallelized computing. However, traditional general purpose computation on the GPU is limited because the constraints of the available programming platforms. As well, compared to CPU programming, the GPU currently has reduced dedicated processor memory, which can limit the useful working data set for parallelized processing. We present an implementation of the demons algorithm using the NVIDIA 8800 GTX GPU and the new CUDA programming language. The GPU performance will be compared with single threading and multithreading CPU implementations on an Intel dual core 2.4 GHz CPU using the C programming language. CUDA provides a C-like language programming interface, and allows for direct access to the highly parallel compute units in the GPU. Comparisons for volumetric clinical lung images acquired using 4DCT were carried out. Computation time for 100 iterations in the range of 1.8-13.5 s was observed for the GPU with image size ranging from 2.0ϫ 10 6 to 14.2 ϫ 10 6 pixels. The GPU registration was 55-61 times faster than the CPU for the single threading implementation, and 34-39 times faster for the multithreading implementation. For CPU based computing, the computational time generally has a linear dependence on image size for medical imaging data. Computational efficiency is characterized in terms of time per megapixels per iteration ͑TPMI͒ with units of seconds per megapixels per iteration ͑or spmi͒. For the demons algorithm, our CPU implementation yielded largely invariant values of TPMI. The mean TPMIs were 0.527 spmi and 0.335 spmi for the single threading and multithreading cases, respectively, with Ͻ2% variation over the considered image data range. For GPU computing, we achieved TPMI = 0.00916 spmi with 3.7% variation, indicating optimized memory handling under CUDA. The paradigm of GPU based real-time DIR opens up a host of clinical applications for medical imaging.