Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Building faster Bundler with CPU/GPU parallelism

The initial Bundler release caused quite a stir allowing simple bundle adjustment from random collection of photos. It leverages the sparse bundle adjustment - SBA created by Lourakis. However being totally single threaded it does not scale quite well to large images. Sift point finding can be accelerated using SiftGPU - Changchang seem to have moved to greater things at Google since his PhD and academic research days.

I have built bundler for Windows 64 bit + CUDA as the MCBA documentation suggests. A few flags are not supported as shown below.
    CHECK_PARAM_SUPPORT(explicit_camera_centers == false);

I am calling it PBA_Bundler, please give it a try and let me know if it makes bundle adjustments faster for you. The GPU has higher error rates on floating-point calculations and can lead to large bundles drifting off reality. Even computers can have optical illusions. CPU parallel version has less error rate and yields more stable bundles. I am currently working on adding pthreads based parallelism to match filtering stages of Bundler (computing Epipolar Geometry and establishing bundle bounds) and removing the constraint in multi-core bundler which prevents the use of camera constraints.
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