Binary Space Partitioning

What Does Binary Space Partitioning Mean?

Binary space partitioning (BSP) is a 3-D graphics programming technique that recursively subdivides a space into sets of two using a series of hyperplanes. The name derives from the fact that the data is represented using a binary tree data structure. BSP renders 3-D graphics by making spacial information about objects quicker to access.


Techopedia Explains Binary Space Partitioning

Binary space partitioning is a 3-D graphics programming technique of dividing a scene into two recursively using hyperplanes. In other words, a 3-D scene is split in two using a 2-D plane, then that scene is divided in two using a 2-D plane, and so on. The resulting data structure is a binary tree, or a tree where every node has two branches.

The technique is widely used to speed up rendering of 3-D scenes, especially in games. John Carmack used BSP in the popular “Doom” and “Quake” games. Because the location of objects in a scene can be specified quickly, the renderer can create the point of view of a player much faster. BSP is also widely used for collision detection in robotics and rendering in computer-aided design.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…