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Authors: Cleary, John G.
Keywords: Computer Science
Issue Date: 1-Nov-1984
Abstract: The construction of complex two dimensional graphics is a computationally intensive process. This is aggravated in languages such as Prolog where it is not easy to perform the arithmetic for geometric transformations at a satisfactorily high speed. One approach to this problem is to distribute the geometric computations to a special purpose graphics processor which is tightly coupled with a display screen. Unfortunately, for complex pictures without a lot of regularity in their structure it can take more time to communicate the picture representation to the graphics processor than to generate plotting instructions directly. A high level language for two dimensional graphics (GROWL) is described. The "standard" implementation of this generates directly executable Prolog code from the GROWL source. A distributed version has been completed which compiles the original source to two programs. One is intended to run on a remote processor and includes little more than the arithmetic for geometric transformations. The other runs on the host as a Prolog program and is completely free of the overhead necessary for geometric transformations but includes all the logic necessary to direct the picture construction. A novel message passing scheme is used for communication between two components. The result is a system which gives very compact representations of pictures on the graphics processor, a very low communications overhead and a high degree of parallelism between the host and graphics processors.
Appears in Collections:Cleary, John

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