High-throughput analysis of large microscopy image datasets on CPU-GPU cluster platforms

George Teodoro, Tony Pan, Tahsin M. Kurc, Jun Kong, Lee Alex Donald Cooper, Norbert Podhorszki, Scott Klasky, Joel H. Saltz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Analysis of large pathology image datasets offers significant opportunities for the investigation of disease morphology, but the resource requirements of analysis pipelines limit the scale of such studies. Motivated by a brain cancer study, we propose and evaluate a parallel image analysis application pipeline for high throughput computation of large datasets of high resolution pathology tissue images on distributed CPU-GPU platforms. To achieve efficient execution on these hybrid systems, we have built runtime support that allows us to express the cancer image analysis application as a hierarchical data processing pipeline. The application is implemented as a coarse-grain pipeline of stages, where each stage may be further partitioned into another pipeline of fine-grain operations. The fine-grain operations are efficiently managed and scheduled for computation on CPUs and GPUs using performance aware scheduling techniques along with several optimizations, including architecture aware process placement, data locality conscious task assignment, data prefetching, and asynchronous data copy. These optimizations are employed to maximize the utilization of the aggregate computing power of CPUs and GPUs and minimize data copy overheads. Our experimental evaluation shows that the cooperative use of CPUs and GPUs achieves significant improvements on top of GPU-only versions (up to 1.6x) and that the execution of the application as a set of fine-grain operations provides more opportunities for runtime optimizations and attains better performance than coarser-grain, monolithic implementations used in other works. An implementation of the cancer image analysis pipeline using the runtime support was able to process an image dataset consisting of 36,848 4Kx4K-pixel image tiles (about 1.8TB uncompressed) in less than 4 minutes (150 tiles/second) on 100 nodes of a state-of-the-art hybrid cluster system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2013
Event27th IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, IPDPS 2013 - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: May 20 2013May 24 2013


Conference27th IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, IPDPS 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA


  • CPU-GPU platforms
  • Segmentation Pipelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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