SafeGI: Type Checking to Improve Correctness in Rendering System Implementation

J. Ou, F. Pellacini
Computer Graphics Forum (EGSR 2010), 2010


Historically, rendering system development has been mainly focused on improving the numerical accuracy of the rendering algorithms and their runtime efficiency. In this paper, we propose a method to improve the correctness not of the algorithms themselves, but of their implementation. Specifically, we show that by combining static type checking and generic programming, rendering system and shader development can take advantage of compile-time checking to perform dimensional analysis, i.e. to enforce the correctness of physical dimensions and units in light transport, and geometric space analysis, i.e. to ensure that geometric computations respect the spaces in which points, vectors and normals were defined. We demonstrate our methods by implementing a CPU path tracer and a GPU renderer which previews direct illumination. While we build on prior work to develop our implementations, the main contribution of our work is to show that dimensional analysis and geometric space checking can be successfully integrated into the development of rendering systems and shaders.