Monte Carlo eXtreme, or MCX, is a fast Monte Carlo simulation software for photon transport in 3D heterogeneous media. It uses Graphics Processing Units (GPU) based massively parallel computing techniques and is hundreds times faster compared to traditional single-threaded CPU-based simulations.
MCX is designed for high computational efficiency, accuracy and excellent portability. It contains 5 variant forms which are suited for a spectrum of pratical needs ranging from high simulation speed to accuracy-demanding applications. The software can be compiled on various platforms including Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and can be used with almost all generations of CUDA-capable devices (8800GT to Fermi).
MCX v0.5.0, codenamed "Black hole", is the second stable release and a result of 1.5-year continuous development of this software. The main features of this release include native Matlab/GNU Octave support via MCXLAB, recording exiting photon partial path lengths at detector sites (0.4.9), fast and accurate simulation using atomic operations in the shared memory (0.4.9) and adjustable voxel sizes of the simulation domain.
The final release of v0.5 gains the followings compared to v0.4.9 published in Aug. 2010:
Pre-compiled MCX were provided for both Windows (32/64bit) and Linux (32/64bit). In the case of MCXLAB, mex files for both Matlab and Octave on these platforms are provided. All binaries were tested on a Fermi GPU (GTX 470).
The final release of v0.5.0 has significantly advanced beyond the previous stable release v0.2 published in Dec. 2009. Compared to v0.2, it has further gained:
To install MCX v0.5.0, you need
To use MCXLAB v0.5.0 in MATLAB, you must have a MATLAB pre-installed.
To use MCXLAB v0.5.0 in GNU Octave, you must install
In all cases, CUDA libraries (libcudart.so for Linux/Mac and cudart.dll for Windows) must be properly installed before you launch MCX.
We plan to apply for funding support to continue improving this software in the future. Your support, either by timely feedback on your experience with MCX, or letters supporting our future research plan as part of the proposals are highly appreciated. We will approach you in a future time when a proposal is prepared.
We are also looking forward to the collaboration opportunities with you to explore interesting projects where this software can help. Please feel free to email me (fangq at nmr.mgh.harvard.edu) to discuss these options at any time.
Qianqian Fang and David A. Boas, "Monte Carlo Simulation of Photon Migration in 3D Turbid Media Accelerated by Graphics Processing Units," Opt. Express, vol. 17, issue 22, pp. 20178-20190 (2009)