- Author: Qianqian Fang <q.fang at neu.edu>
- License: GNU General Public License version 3 (GPLv3)
- Version: this package is part of Monte Carlo eXtreme (MCX) v2016.4

- 1. Introduction
- 2. Installation
- 3. How to use MCXLAB in MATLAB/Octave
- 4. Examples
- 5. How to compile MCXLAB
- 6. Screenshots
- 7. Reference

MCXLAB is the native MEX version of MCX for Matlab and GNU Octave. It compiles the entire MCX code into a MEX function which can be called directly inside Matlab or Octave. The input and output files in MCX are replaced by convenient in-memory struct variables in MCXLAB, thus, making it much easier to use and interact. Matlab/Octave also provides convenient plotting and data analysis functions. With MCXLAB, your analysis can be streamlined and speed- up without involving disk files.

Because MCXLAB contains the exact computational codes for the GPU calculations as in the MCX binaries, MCXLAB is expected to have identical performance when running simulations. By default, we compile MCXLAB with the support of recording detected photon partial path-lengths (i.e. the "make det" option). In addition, we also provide "mcxlab_atom": an atomic version of mcxlab compiled similarly as "make detbox" for MCX. It supports atomic operations using shared memory enabled by setting "cfg.sradius" input parameter to a positive number.

To download MCXLAB, please visit this link. If you choose to register, you will have an option to be notified for any future updates.

The system requirements for MCXLAB are the same as MCX: you have to make sure that you have a CUDA-capable graphics card with properly configured CUDA driver (you can run the standard MCX binary first to test if your system is capable to run MCXLAB). Of course, you need to have either Matlab or Octave installed.

Once you set up the CUDA toolkit and NVIDIA driver, you can then add the "mcxlab" directory to your Matlab/Octave search path using the addpath command. If you want to add this path permanently, please use the "pathtool" command, or edit your startup.m (~/.octaverc for Octave).

If everything works ok, typing "help mcxlab" in Matlab/Octave will print the help information. If you see any error, particularly any missing libraries, please make sure you have downloaded the matching version built for your platform.

To learn the basic usage of MCXLAB, you can type

help mcxlab

in Matlab/Octave to see the help information regarding how to use this function. The help information is listed below. You can find the input/output formats and examples. The input cfg structure has very similar field names as the verbose command line options in MCX.

==================================================================== MCXLAB - Monte Carlo eXtreme (MCX) for MATLAB/GNU Octave -------------------------------------------------------------------- Copyright (c) 2011-2016 Qianqian Fang <q.fang at neu.edu> URL: http://mcx.space ==================================================================== Format: [flux,detphoton,vol,seed]=mcxlab(cfg); Input: cfg: a struct, or struct array. Each element of cfg defines the parameters associated with a simulation. It may contain the following fields: *cfg.nphoton: the total number of photons to be simulated (integer) *cfg.vol: a 3D array specifying the media index in the domain *cfg.prop: an N by 4 array, each row specifies [mua, mus, g, n] in order. the first row corresponds to medium type 0 which is typically [0 0 1 1]. The second row is type 1, and so on. *cfg.tstart: starting time of the simulation (in seconds) *cfg.tstep: time-gate width of the simulation (in seconds) *cfg.tend: ending time of the simulation (in second) *cfg.srcpos: a 1 by 3 vector, the position of the source in grid unit *cfg.srcdir: a 1 by 3 vector, specifying the incident vector cfg.sradius: radius within which we use atomic operations (in grid) [0.0] sradius=0 to disable atomic operations; if sradius=-1, use cfg.crop0 and crop1 to define a cubic atomic zone; if sradius=-2, perform atomic operations in the entire domain; by default, srandius=-2 (atomic operations is used). cfg.nblocksize: how many CUDA thread blocks to be used [64] cfg.nthread: the total CUDA thread number [2048] cfg.maxgate: the num of time-gates per simulation cfg.session: a string for output file names (used when no return variables) cfg.seed: seed for the random number generator (integer) [0] if set to a uint8 array, the binary data in each column is used to seed a photon (i.e. the "replay" mode) cfg.maxdetphoton: maximum number of photons saved by the detectors [1000000] cfg.detpos: an N by 4 array, each row specifying a detector: [x,y,z,radius] cfg.respin: repeat simulation for the given time (integer) [1] cfg.gpuid: which GPU to use (run 'mcx -L' to list all GPUs) [1] if set to an integer, gpuid specifies the index (starts at 1) of the GPU for the simulation; if set to a binary string made of 1s and 0s, it enables multiple GPUs. For example, '1101' allows to use the 1st, 2nd and 4th GPUs together. cfg.workload an array denoting the relative loads of each selected GPU. for example, [50,20,30] allocates 50%, 20% and 30% photons to the 3 selected GPUs, respectively; [10,10] evenly divides the load between 2 active GPUs. A simple load balancing strategy is to use the GPU core counts as the weight. cfg.isreflect: [1]-consider refractive index mismatch, 0-matched index cfg.isrefint: 1-ref. index mismatch at inner boundaries, [0]-matched index cfg.isnormalized:[1]-normalize the output flux to unitary source, 0-no reflection cfg.issrcfrom0: 1-first voxel is [0 0 0], [0]- first voxel is [1 1 1] cfg.isgpuinfo: 1-print GPU info, [0]-do not print cfg.autopilot: 1-automatically set threads and blocks, [0]-use nthread/nblocksize cfg.minenergy: terminate photon when weight less than this level (float) [0.0] cfg.unitinmm: defines the length unit for a grid edge length [1.0] cfg.shapes: a JSON string for additional shapes in the grid cfg.reseedlimit:number of scattering events before reseeding RNG cfg.srctype: source type, the parameters of the src are specified by cfg.srcparam{1,2} 'pencil' - default, pencil beam, no param needed 'isotropic' - isotropic source, no param needed 'cone' - uniform cone beam, srcparam1(1) is the half-angle in radian 'gaussian' - a collimated gaussian beam, srcparam1(1) specifies the waist radius (in voxels) 'planar' - a 3D quadrilateral uniform planar source, with three corners specified by srcpos, srcpos+srcparam1(1:3) and srcpos+srcparam2(1:3) 'pattern' - a 3D quadrilateral pattern illumination, same as above, except srcparam1(4) and srcparam2(4) specify the pattern array x/y dimensions, and srcpattern is a pattern array, valued between [0-1]. 'fourier' - spatial frequency domain source, similar to 'planar', except the integer parts of srcparam1(4) and srcparam2(4) represent the x/y frequencies; the fraction part of srcparam1(4) multiplies 2*pi represents the phase shift (phi0); 1.0 minus the fraction part of srcparam2(4) is the modulation depth (M). Put in equations: S=0.5*[1+M*cos(2*pi*(fx*x+fy*y)+phi0)], (0<=x,y,M<=1) 'arcsine' - similar to isotropic, except the zenith angle is uniform distribution, rather than a sine distribution. 'disk' - a uniform disk source pointing along srcdir; the radius is set by srcparam1(1) (in grid unit) 'fourierx' - a general Fourier source, the parameters are srcparam1: [v1x,v1y,v1z,|v2|], srcparam2: [kx,ky,phi0,M] normalized vectors satisfy: srcdir cross v1=v2 the phase shift is phi0*2*pi 'fourierx2d' - a general 2D Fourier basis, parameters srcparam1: [v1x,v1y,v1z,|v2|], srcparam2: [kx,ky,phix,phiy] the phase shift is phi{x,y}*2*pi 'zgaussian' - an angular gaussian beam, srcparam1(0) specifies the variance in the zenith angle 'line' - a line source, emitting from the line segment between cfg.srcpos and cfg.srcpos+cfg.srcparam(1:3), radiating uniformly in the perpendicular direction 'slit' - a colimated slit beam emitting from the line segment between cfg.srcpos and cfg.srcpos+cfg.srcparam(1:3), with the initial dir specified by cfg.srcdir cfg.{srcparam1,srcparam2}: 1x4 vectors, see cfg.srctype for details cfg.srcpattern: see cfg.srctype for details cfg.voidtime: for wide-field sources, [1]-start timer at launch, or 0-when entering the first non-zero voxel cfg.outputtype: [X] - output flux, F - fluence, E - energy deposit J - Jacobian (replay) cfg.faststep: when set to 1, this option enables the legacy 1mm fix-step photon advancing strategy; although this method is fast, the results were found inaccurate, and therefore is not recommended. Setting to 0 enables precise ray-tracing between voxels; this is the default. fields with * are required; options in [] are the default values Output: flux: a struct array, with a length equals to that of cfg. For each element of flux, flux(i).data is a 4D array with dimensions specified by [size(vol) total-time-gates]. The content of the array is the normalized flux at each voxel of each time-gate. detphoton: a struct array, with a length equals to that of cfg. For each element of detphoton, detphoton(i).data is a 2D array with dimensions [size(cfg.prop,1)+1 saved-photon-num]. The first row is the ID(>0) of the detector that captures the photon; the second row saves the number of scattering events of each exiting photon; the rest rows are the partial path lengths (in grid unit) traveling in medium 1 up to the last. If you set cfg.unitinmm, you need to multiply the path-lengths to convert them to mm unit. vol: (optional) a struct array, each element is a preprocessed volume corresponding to each instance of cfg. Each volume is a 3D uint8 array. seeds: (optional), if give, mcxlab returns the seeds, in the form of a byte array (uint8) for each detected photon. The column number of seed equals that of detphoton. Example: cfg.nphoton=1e7; cfg.vol=uint8(ones(60,60,60)); cfg.srcpos=[30 30 1]; cfg.srcdir=[0 0 1]; cfg.gpuid=1; cfg.autopilot=1; cfg.prop=[0 0 1 1;0.005 1 0 1.37]; cfg.tstart=0; cfg.tend=5e-9; cfg.tstep=5e-10; % calculate the flux distribution with the given config flux=mcxlab(cfg); cfgs(1)=cfg; cfgs(2)=cfg; cfgs(1).isreflect=0; cfgs(2).isreflect=1; cfgs(2).issavedet=1; cfgs(2).detpos=[30 20 1 1;30 40 1 1;20 30 1 1;40 30 1 1]; % calculate the flux and partial path lengths for the two configurations [fluxs,detps]=mcxlab(cfgs); imagesc(squeeze(log(fluxs(1).data(:,30,:,1)))-squeeze(log(fluxs(2).data(:,30,:,1)))); This function is part of Monte Carlo eXtreme (MCX) URL: http://mcx.space License: GNU General Public License version 3, please read LICENSE.txt for details

We provided several examples to demonstrate the basic usage of MCXLAB, as well as to perform validations of MCX algorithm using both simple homogeneous and heterogeneous domains. These examples are explained below:

In this example, we show the most basic usage of MCXLAB. This include how to define the input configuration structure, launch MCX simulations and interpret and plotting the resulting data.

In this example, we validate MCXLAB with a homogeneous medium in a cubic domain. This is exactly the example shown in Fig.5 of [Fang2009].

You can also use the alternative optical properties that has a high g value to observe the similarity between the two scattering/g configurations.

In this example, we validate the MCXLAB solver with a heterogeneous domain and the analytical solution of the diffusion model. We also demonstrate how to use sub-pixel resolution to refine the representation of heterogeneities. The domain is consisted of a 6x6x6 cm box with a 2cm diameter sphere embedded at the center.

This test is identical to that used for Fig. 3 in [Fang2010].

In this example, we demonstrate how to use sub-pixel resolution to represent the problem domain. The domain is consisted of a 6x6x6 cm box with a 2cm diameter sphere embedded at the center.

In this example, we simulate a 4-layer brain model using MCXLAB. We will investigate the differences between the solutions with and witout boundary reflections (both external and internal) and show you how to display and analyze the resulting data.

To compile MCXLAB for Matlab, you need to cd mcx/src directory, and type

make mex

from a shell window. You need to make sure your Matlab is installed and
the command `mex` is included in your PATH environment variable. Similarly,
to compile MCXLAB for Octave, you type

make oct

The command `mkoctfile` must be accessible from your command line
and it is provided in a package named "octave3.x-headers" in Ubuntu (3.x
can be 3.2 or 3.4 etc).

If your graphics card is a Fermi-class or newer, you can compile MCXLAB with make fermimex or fermioct. The output mex file can determine the level of atomic operations using the cfg.sradius settings.

Screenshot for using MCXLAB in Matlab:

Screenshot for using MCXLAB in GNU Octave:

[Fang2009] Qianqian Fang and David A. Boas, "Monte Carlo simulation of photon migration in 3D turbid media accelerated by graphics processing units," Opt. Express 17, 20178-20190 (2009)

[Fang2010] Fang Q, "Mesh-based Monte Carlo method using fast ray-tracing in Plucker coordinates," Biomed. Opt. Express 1, 165-175 (2010)