Infoscience

Journal article

Visible Human Slice Web Server: A first assessment

The Visible Human Slice Server (http://visiblehuman.epfl.ch) started offering its slicing services at the end of June 1998. From that date until the end of May, more than 280'000 slices were extracted from the Visible Man, by laymen interested in anatomy, by students and by specialists. The Slice Server is based one Bi-Pentium PC and 16 disks. It is a scaled down version of a powerful parallel server comprising 5 Bi-Pentium Pro PCs and 60 disks. The parallel server program was created thanks to a computer-aided parallelization framework, which takes over the task of creating a multi-threaded pipelined parallel program from a high-level parallel program description. On the full blown architecture, the parallel program enables the extraction and resampling of up to 5 colour slices per second. Extracting 5 slices/s requires to access the disks and extract subvolumes of the Visible Human at an aggregate throughput of 105 MB/s. The publicly accessible server enables to extract slices having any orientation. The slice position and orientation can either be specified for each slice separately or as a position and orientation relative to a previous slice. This contribution gives a first assessment of the slice access capabilities offered by a Java applet and possible future improvements. In the very near future, the Web Slice Server will offer additional services, such as the possibility to extract ruled surfaces and to extract animations incorporating slices perpendicular to a user defined trajectory.

Related material