Parallelization of Non-Rigid Image Registration
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Non-rigid image registration finds use in a wide range of medical applications ranging from diagnostics to minimally invasive image-guided interventions. Automatic non-rigid image registration algorithms are computationally intensive in that they can take hours to register two images. Although hierarchical volume subdivision-based algorithms are inherently faster than other non-rigid registration algorithms, they can still take a long time to register two images. We show a parallel implementation of one such previously reported and well tested algorithm on a cluster of thirty two processors which reduces the registration time from hours to a few minutes. Mutual information (MI) is one of the most commonly used image similarity measures used in medical image registration and also in the mentioned algorithm. In addition to parallel implementation, we propose a new concept based on bit-slicing to accelerate computation of MI on the cluster and, more generally, on any parallel computing platform such as the Graphics processor units (GPUs). GPUs are becoming increasingly common for general purpose computing in the area of medical imaging as they can execute algorithms faster by leveraging the parallel processing power they offer. However, the standard implementation of MI does not map well to the GPU architecture, leading earlier investigators to compute only an inexact version of MI on the GPU to achieve speedup. The bit-slicing technique we have proposed enables us to demonstrate an exact implementation of MI on the GPU without adversely affecting the speedup.