Real-time dose computation: GPU-accelerated source modeling and superposition/convolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Purpose: To accelerate dose calculation to interactive rates using highly parallel graphics processing units (GPUs). Methods: The authors have extended their prior work in GPU-accelerated superposition/convolution with a modern dual-source model and have enhanced performance. The primary source algorithm supports both focused leaf ends and asymmetric rounded leaf ends. The extra-focal algorithm uses a discretized, isotropic area source and models multileaf collimator leaf height effects. The spectral and attenuation effects of static beam modifiers were integrated into each source's spectral function. The authors introduce the concepts of arc superposition and delta superposition. Arc superposition utilizes separate angular sampling for the total energy released per unit mass (TERMA) and superposition computations to increase accuracy and performance. Delta superposition allows single beamlet changes to be computed efficiently. The authors extended their concept of multi-resolution superposition to include kernel tilting. Multi-resolution superposition approximates solid angle ray-tracing, improving performance and scalability with a minor loss in accuracy. Superposition/convolution was implemented using the inverse cumulative-cumulative kernel and exact radiological path ray-tracing. The accuracy analyses were performed using multiple kernel ray samplings, both with and without kernel tilting and multi-resolution superposition. Results: Source model performance was <9 ms (data dependent) for a high resolution (4002) field using an NVIDIA (Santa Clara, CA) GeForce GTX 280. Computation of the physically correct multispectral TERMA attenuation was improved by a material centric approach, which increased performance by over 80%. Superposition performance was improved by ∼24% to 0.058 and 0.94 s for 643 and 1283 water phantoms; a speed-up of 101-144× over the highly optimized Pinnacle3 (Philips, Madison, WI) implementation. Pinnacle3 times were 8.3 and 94 s, respectively, on an AMD (Sunnyvale, CA) Opteron 254 (two cores, 2.8 GHz). Conclusions: The authors have completed a comprehensive, GPU-accelerated dose engine in order to provide a substantial performance gain over CPU based implementations. Real-time dose computation is feasible with the accuracy levels of the superposition/convolution algorithm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-305
Number of pages12
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • convolution/superposition
  • graphics processing unit
  • inverse planning
  • radiation therapy planning
  • source modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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