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A Genetic Programming Approach to Shader Simplification

SitthiAmorn, Pitchaya; Modly, Nicholas; Wiemer, Wesley; Lawrence, Jason
SitthiAmorn, Pitchaya
Modly, Nicholas
Wiemer, Wesley
Lawrence, Jason
The programmability of modern graphics hardware has led to an enormous increase in pixel shader complexity and a commensu- rate increase in the difficulty and effort needed to optimize them. We present a framework based on Genetic Programming (GP) for automatically simplifying pixel shaders. Our approach computes a series of increasingly simplified shaders that expose the inher- ent trade-off between speed and accuracy. Compared to existing automatic methods for shader simplification [Olano et al. 2003; Pellacini 2005], our approach is powerful, considering a far wider space of code transformations and producing faster and more faith- ful shaders. We further demonstrate how our cost function can be rapidly evaluated using graphics hardware, which allows tens of thousands of shader variants to be considered during the opti- mization process. Our approach is also general: unlike previous work, we demonstrate that our technique is applicable to multi-pass shaders and perceptual-based error metrics.
University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science, 2011
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