Contrast module never finishes!

Questions and answers about problems with the software, modules or functionality.
Post Reply
Knorbert
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 5:08 pm

Contrast module never finishes!

Post by Knorbert »

Hi,

I’m new to StarTools, but am impressed with the workflow methodology and am getting decent results as I play with the various modules. I do have one problem with which I wanted some experienced user advice:

Opening up the Contrast modules just seeing the spinning wheel and the process apparently never finishes. I’ve waited for 12 hrs and still going…

Couple of questions:

1) is this normal, and how long should the contrast module take on a 1000 x 1000 pixel image without changing the default settings?
2) could all the modules utilise the spinning wheel that effectively progresses around the wheel clock so we know how far the process has got? Some modules do this, some do not, e.g. the Contrast module?

I am running a HP 4 physical core workstation running Windows 10 (8 logical cores from ST info with two graphics cores). It doesn’t make any apparent difference to speed nor Contrast module issue using either the processor version or processor + graphic core version.

Any help very much appreciated.

Cheers

Mark
Mike in Rancho
Posts: 666
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:05 pm
Location: Alta Loma, CA

Re: Contrast module never finishes!

Post by Mike in Rancho »

Hi Mark,

I would go with not normal! Something is for sure amiss. And weird, as I would not think of Contrast as necessarily the module where you should be hanging up. And 1000x1000 (I presume due to binning?) is rather small.

What else can you tell us about your computer? Processor, GPU, memory?

4 core 8 thread can actually cover quite a few CPU's including old ones. 2 GPU "compute units" may also be on the low side. That said, I would expect a crash-out if something went way wrong rather than just hanging for hours.

Weird too that it is happening with the non-GPU version. :think:

My current ST machine has an i7-6700, which also is 4 core 8 thread, 32GB, SSDs, and for now just a pathetic GTX 745 (3 CPU compute units per ST), albeit mildly overclocked.

Previously I was using an old quad core (Q-something, I forget) with an even older GPU, and if I remember right that could crash out sometimes (color module I think). And while it was slower, there were no permanent hangs, and for sure not in Contrast.

Ivo might have more detailed thoughts after we get the specifics of your rig.
Knorbert
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 5:08 pm

Re: Contrast module never finishes!

Post by Knorbert »

Hi Mike,

My machine is not the newest nor fastest, but it does serve me well for dedicated modelling and astronomy image processing. It’s based on a 4-core Xeon W3550 running at 3.07 GHz with 12Gb RAM and hyper threading enabled. Graphics card is a bit pedestrian being a Radeon HD5450 and is only capable of providing 2 compute units on its Cedar chip.

However, this setup has no trouble running complex wavelet transforms and appears to have no problem with any of the modules that I’ve played with except the Contrast module, which has befuddled me! The reason I asked the forum is that I was wondering if this is doing a lot of iterative local math over a moving area in the image and hence requires a fair time to run - it sounds this isn’t the case. It doesn’t crash out using either GPU nor non-GPU versions, and I’ve been careful to try both to ensure there is no GPU reset coming into play during long process duration.

The low resolution was really me just doing a 35% binning to make sure there wasn’t too much overhead in the processing requirement.

Now you’ve confirmed it’s not normal behaviour, I think I might reinstall the software just to make sure nothing untoward in the install process previously. Any other thoughts in the meantime very welcome.

I would still recommend progress indicators for all modules if possible.

All the best

Mark
Mike in Rancho
Posts: 666
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:05 pm
Location: Alta Loma, CA

Re: Contrast module never finishes!

Post by Mike in Rancho »

Hi Mark,

Ok, well, that machine could be a little lacking. The CPU isn't super bad, a bit older and below my i7-6700, which itself is probably from around 2016 and getting a bit long in the tooth. That GPU though... I think benchmarks put it below even my long-shelved 9500 GT. 12GB might be a bit low also.

That said, I would expect trouble in places other than Contrast, yet you say you can get through the other modules okay. So...is there anything you are doing in Contrast that leads to this?

Contrast in most cases is one of the faster modules, nearly instantaneous. Unless, you start increasing the Precision slider. But I don't think it is ever really needed to change that from default.

Even on my machine (not the best), I can nearly crash out ST if I move that slider to 1024, and will indeed crash out at 2048. Unsure why. That's running the GPU version. It's clearly grinding on something, and wants to hang. The utlimate crash could be the TDR, which for this computer I've only bumped up to 30 seconds. And it may have been 30 second when everything went black.

That's the only way I can think of right now to cause trouble for Contrast...but since you didn't mention Precision I doubt you did that. :think:
User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3204
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:51 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Contrast module never finishes!

Post by admin »

Hi Mark,

Any chance you could share the dataset with me that is causing this issue for you?
I'm pretty stumped as to what the problem may be...
The only thing I can think of is the GPU - for whatever reason - conking out (crashing) mid-calculations and its threads never properly finishing and relinquishing control... :think:
Ivo Jager
StarTools creator and astronomy enthusiast
Knorbert
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2022 5:08 pm

Re: Contrast module never finishes!

Post by Knorbert »

Hi Both,

Many thanks for your replies. I’ve played around a bit more and reinstalled StarTools.

First to answer your questions, I tried multiple datasets, all hanging the contrast module - didn’t seem a dataset size nor format specific issue. I wasn’t actually changing any parameters when opening the Contrast module - just getting a spinning wheel on opening that never ended….

However, reinstalling the software has now seen that the non-GPU version runs fine on all modules. On 3008 x 3008 fits image, contrast completes in decent time - fast enough for me anyways 😊

The GPU version does still present the spinning wheel of boredom! So, whatever was wrong with the first install seems to have changed for the reinstall and I can confirm the graphics card is useless compared to more modern ones! However, the reason I keep a Xeon going is because of the L3 cache advantage over i7s (which is admittedly getting less so now).

I haven’t this morning UK time managed to crash anything yet so I’ll keep playing and see how I get on with the software.

Many thanks for your quick responses.

All the best

Mark
Post Reply