Release Notes for Monte Carlo eXtreme Version 0.9.7-1

code name: Dark Matter, released on Jan. 05, 2014

1. Introduction
2. About this release
3. System requirements
4. Reference

1. Introduction

Monte Carlo eXtreme, or MCX, is a fast Monte Carlo simulation package for photon transport in 3D heterogeneous media. It uses Graphics Processing Units (GPU) for massively parallel computing and offers hundreds times acceleration compared to a traditional single-threaded CPU-based simulation.

2. About this release

MCX 0.9.7-1 (code named "Dark Matter") contains a single, but critical, bug fix to the isotropic scattering simulations when a medium has g=0. This bug affects all past MCX releases. If you happen to need simulating a medium with g=0, I urge you to upgrade to this new release for the correct simulation.

3. System requirements

Pre-compiled MCX are provided for Windows (32/64 bit), Linux (32/64bit) and Mac OS (64bit). In the case of MCXLAB, mex files for both Matlab and Octave on these platforms are provided. All binaries have been tested on a Fermi GPU (GTX 590).

The detailed change logs can be found in the ChangeLog and SVN commit history pages.

To install version 0.9.7-1, you need

  • a CUDA-enabled graphics card made by nVidia, a full list of supported cards can be found here
  • a computer running GNU/Linux, Windows or Mac OS
  • the latest CUDA toolkit and development driver, you can download from here

If you download the "fermi" packages, you need to have a Fermi (GTX 4xx) or newer graphics card. This binary will allow you to use photon detection, atomic operations and shared memory buffer, originally provided by different binaries, in a single binary, and the features are switched using command line options (-R option in particular).

If your downloaded package contains "cuda4" in the file name, you should download cuda 4.2.x before running MCX; likewise, if it has cuda5.5, you should install cuda 5.5 first.

To use MCXLAB v0.9.7-1 in MATLAB, you must have a MATLAB pre-installed. Be careful, newer MATLAB ships with a copy of libcudart library. Make sure you the MCX version matches the shipped cuda in your matlab.

To use MCXLAB v0.9.7-1 in GNU Octave, you must install the following:

  • GNU Octave
  • libblas, libgfortran and libhdf5

In all cases, CUDA libraries ( for Linux, libcudart.dylib for Mac and cudart*.dll for Windows) must be properly installed before you launch MCX.

4. Reference

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)

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