SPEC/GPC to Sponsor Meeting
of Visual Simulation Interest Group

SPEC/GPC will host a meeting to discuss visual simulation benchmarking on Monday, January 25, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Hyatt San Jose near the San Jose Airport. The meeting is open to vendors, researchers and others interested in establishing standardized benchmarks for visual simulation. Topics for discussion include the following:

  1. Is visual simulation different from other types of computer graphics? If so, how?
  2. Is there a need to standardize evaluation methods for visual simulation graphics systems?
  3. What evaluation methods exist? Are they useful?
  4. How far ahead, in time, should we look with respect to visual simulation technology and evaluation techniques?
  5. How can industry become more aware of and involved with the current and future needs of visual simulation?
  6. Are there enough interested parties to move forward and work toward forming a standardized benchmarking project group under SPEC/GPC?

A group of university researchers have already begun working on these topics. They have been studying the feasibility of using low-cost graphics platforms for visual simulation. The research is sponsored by the U.S. Army, which is interested in embedding simulation into its vehicles. The Army could conceivably purchase thousands of simulators to embed in their systems. Other procurers -- such as DoD, DoT and major aerospace companies -- are expected to be interested in these topics as well. To meet this potential market will require changes in the way the government buys simulators. In the case of graphics for visual simulation, this change will require new specifications, evaluation methods, volume production, and lower unit costs. The government’s success in making this change will depend, in part, on making better use of commercial products.

Initial research has been oriented toward using and adapting commercial public benchmarks (such as GLperf) to measure performance of graphics systems for visual simulation applications. Prototype benchmarks have been developed and tested using a number of graphics products. Existing research activities and potentially new efforts need to move to the next level and involve the graphics industry and the simulation community (developers and acquisition agencies). Together, the two groups can set a path to meet future needs.

Anyone wishing to attend this meeting or to be included in the agenda, should contact Brian Goldiez at the University of Central Florida. In addition to the first meeting of this special interest group, SPEC/GPC will hold its meetings at the Hyatt San Jose from January 26 through January 28. For more information on those meetings, contact the SPEC/GPC office.

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