Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


College of Engineering


Christian Eckhardt

Advisor Department

Computer Science

Advisor College

College of Engineering


Any kind of graphics simulation can be thought of like a fancy flipbook. This notion is, of course, nothing new. For instance, in a game, the central computing unit (CPU) needs to process frame by frame, figuring out what is happening, and then finally issues draw calls to the graphics processing unit (GPU) to render the frame and display it onto the monitor. Traditionally, the CPU has to process a lot of things: from the creation of the window environment for the processed frames to be displayed, handling game logic, processing artificial intelligence (AI) for non-player characters (NPC), to the physics, and issuing draw calls; and all of these have to be done within roughly 0.0167 seconds to maintain real-time performance of 60 frames per second (fps). The main goal of this thesis is to move the physics pipeline of any kind of simulation to the GPU instead of the CPU. The main tool to make this possible would be the usage of OpenGL Compute Shaders. OpenGL is a high-performance graphics application programming interface (API), used as an abstraction layer for the CPU to communicate with the GPU. OpenGL was created by the Khronos Group primarily for graphics, or drawing frames only. In the later versions of OpenGL, the Khronos Group has introduced Compute Shader, which can be used for general-purpose computing on the GPU (GPGPU). This means the GPU can be used to process any arbitrary math computations, and not limited to only process the vertices and fragments of polygons. This thesis features Broad Phase and Narrow Phase collision detection stages, and a collision Resolution Phase with Sequential Impulses entirely on the GPU with real-time performance.