The visible human slice sequence animation web server
Since June 1998, EPFL's Visible Human Slice Server (http://visiblehuman.epfl.ch) allows to extract arbitrarily oriented and positioned slices. More than 300,000 slices are extracted each year. In order to give a 3D view of anatomic structures, a new service has been added for extracting slice animations along a user-defined trajectory. This service is useful both for research and teaching purposes (http://visiblehuman.epfl.ch/animation/). Extracting slices of animations at any desired position and orientation from the Visible Human volume (Visible Man or Woman) requires both high throughput and much processing power. The I/O disk bandwidth can be increased by accessing more than one disk at the same time, i.e. by striping data across several disks and by carrying out parallel asynchronous disk accesses. Since processing operations such as slice and animation extraction are compute-intensive, they require the program execution to be carried out in parallel on several computers. In the present contribution, we describe the new slice sequence animation service as well as the approach taken for parallelizing this service on a multi-PC multi-disk Web server.