A multi-threaded fast convolver for dynamically parallel image filtering
March 1, 2003
2D convolution is a staple of digital image processing. The advent of large format imagers makes it possible to literally ''pave'' with silicon the focal plane of an optical sensor, which results in very large images that can require a significant amount computation to process. Filtering of large images via 2D convolutions is often complicated by a variety of effects (e.g., non-uniformities found in wide field of view instruments) which must be compensated for in the filtering process by changing the filter across the image. This paper describes a fast (FFT based) method for convolving images with slowly varying filters. A parallel version of the method is implemented using a multi-threaded approach, which allows more efficient load balancing and a simpler software architecture. The method has been implemented within a high level interpreted language (IDL), while also exploiting open standards vector libraries (VSIPL) and open standards parallel directives (OpenMP). The parallel approach and software architecture are generally applicable to a variety of algorithms and has the advantage of enabling users to obtain the convenience of an easy operating environment while also delivering high performance using a fully portable code.