Cluster computing software for GATE simulationsCluster computing software for GATE simulations
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
2007New York, N.Y., 2007
Medical physics. - New York, N.Y.
34(2007):6, p. 1926-1933
Geometry and tracking (GEANT4) is a Monte Carlo package designed for high energy physics experiments. It is used as the basis layer for Monte Carlo simulations of nuclear medicine acquisition systems in GEANT4 Application for Tomographic Emission (GATE). GATE allows the user to realistically model experiments using accurate physics models and time synchronization for detector movement through a script language contained in a macro file. The downside of this high accuracy is long computation time. This paper describes a platform independent computing approach for running GATE simulations on a cluster of computers in order to reduce the overall simulation time. Our software automatically creates fully resolved, nonparametrized macros accompanied with an on-the-fly generated cluster specific submit file used to launch the simulations. The scalability of GATE simulations on a cluster is investigated for two imaging modalities, positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Due to a higher sensitivity, PET simulations are characterized by relatively high data output rates that create rather large output files. SPECT simulations, on the other hand, have lower data output rates but require a long collimator setup time. Both of these characteristics hamper scalability as a function of the number of CPUs. The scalability of PET simulations is improved here by the development of a fast output merger. The scalability of SPECT simulations is improved by greatly reducing the collimator setup time. Accordingly, these two new developments result in higher scalability for both PET and SPECT simulations and reduce the computation time to more practical values.