Modeling parameterized geometry in GPU-based Monte Carlo particle transport simulation for radiotherapy

Yujie Chi, Zhen Tian, Xun Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Monte Carlo (MC) particle transport simulation on a graphics-processing unit (GPU) platform has been extensively studied recently due to the efficiency advantage achieved via massive parallelization. Almost all of the existing GPU-based MC packages were developed for voxelized geometry. This limited application scope of these packages. The purpose of this paper is to develop a module to model parametric geometry and integrate it in GPU-based MC simulations. In our module, each continuous region was defined by its bounding surfaces that were parameterized by quadratic functions. Particle navigation functions in this geometry were developed. The module was incorporated to two previously developed GPU-based MC packages and was tested in two example problems: (1) low energy photon transport simulation in a brachytherapy case with a shielded cylinder applicator and (2) MeV coupled photon/electron transport simulation in a phantom containing several inserts of different shapes. In both cases, the calculated dose distributions agreed well with those calculated in the corresponding voxelized geometry. The averaged dose differences were 1.03% and 0.29%, respectively. We also used the developed package to perform simulations of a Varian VS 2000 brachytherapy source and generated a phase-space file. The computation time under the parameterized geometry depended on the memory location storing the geometry data. When the data was stored in GPU's shared memory, the highest computational speed was achieved. Incorporation of parameterized geometry yielded a computation time that was ∼3 times of that in the corresponding voxelized geometry. We also developed a strategy to use an auxiliary index array to reduce frequency of geometry calculations and hence improve efficiency. With this strategy, the computational time ranged in 1.75-2.03 times of the voxelized geometry for coupled photon/electron transport depending on the voxel dimension of the auxiliary index array, and in 0.69-1.23 times for photon only transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5851-5867
Number of pages17
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Jul 18 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • GPU
  • Monte Carlo
  • geometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling parameterized geometry in GPU-based Monte Carlo particle transport simulation for radiotherapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this