Computer Graphics
TU Braunschweig

The Minimal Bounding Volume Hierarchy

The Minimal Bounding Volume Hierarchy

Bounding volume hierarchies (BVH) are a commonly used method for speeding up ray tracing. Even though the memory footprint of a BVH is relatively low compared to other acceleration data structures, they still can consume a large amount of memory for complex scenes and exceed the memory bounds of the host system. This can lead to a tremendous performance decrease on the order of several magnitudes. In this paper we present a novel scheme for construction and storage of BVHs that can reduce the memory consumption to less than 1% of a standard BVH. We show that our representation, which uses only 2 bits per node, is the smallest possible representation on a per node basis that does not produce empty space deadlocks. Our data structure, called the Minimal Bounding Volume Hierarchy (MVH) reduces the memory requirements in two important ways: using implicit indexing and preset surface reduction factors. Obviously, this scheme has a non-negligible computational overhead, but this overhead can be compensated to a large degree by shooting larger ray bundles instead of single rays, using a simpler intersection scheme and a two-level representation of the hierarchy. These measure enable interactive ray tracing performance without the necessity to rely on out-of-core techniques that would be inevitable for a standard BVH.

Author(s):Pablo Bauszat, Martin Eisemann, Marcus Magnor
Published:November 2010
Type:Article in conference proceedings
Book:Proc. Vision, Modeling and Visualization (VMV)
Presented at:Vision, Modeling and Visualization (VMV) 2010
Project(s): Accelerating Photo-realistic RT 

  title = {The Minimal Bounding Volume Hierarchy},
  author = {Bauszat, Pablo and Eisemann, Martin and Magnor, Marcus},
  booktitle = {Proc. Vision, Modeling and Visualization ({VMV})},
  organization = {Eurographics},
  pages = {227--234},
  month = {Nov},
  year = {2010}