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A Practical Analysis of Clustering Strategies for Hierarchical Radiosity

Jean-Marc Hasenfratz, Cyrille Damez, François Sillion, George Drettakis
Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of the Eurographics conference), Number 18(3), page 221-232 - Sep 1999
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The calculation of radiant energy balance in complex scenes has been made possible by hierarchical radiosity methods based on clustering mechanisms. Although clustering offers an elegant theoretical solution by reducing the asymptotic complexity of the algorithm, its practical use raises many difficulties, and may result in image artifacts or unexpected behavior. This paper proposes a detailed analysis of the expectations placed on clustering and compares the relative merits of existing, as well as newly introduced, clustering algorithms. This comparison starts from the precise definition of various clustering strategies based on a taxonomy of data structures and construction algorithms, and proceeds to an experimental study of the clustering behavior for real-world scenes. Interestingly, we observe that for some scenes light is difficult to simulate even with clustering. Our results lead to a series of observations characterizing the adequacy of clustering methods for meeting such diverse goals as progressive solution improvement, efficient ray casting acceleration, and faithful representation of object density for approximate visibility calculations.

BibTex references

  author       = "Hasenfratz, Jean-Marc and Damez, Cyrille and Sillion, Fran\c{c}ois and Drettakis, George",
  title        = "A Practical Analysis of Clustering Strategies for Hierarchical Radiosity",
  booktitle    = "Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of the Eurographics conference)",
  number       = "18(3)",
  pages        = "221-232",
  month        = "Sep",
  year         = "1999",
  publisher    = "P. Brunet and R. Scopigno",
  keywords     = "radiosite, clustering",
  url          = ""

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