National Computational Infrastructure

NCI Australia logo with the words Providing Australian researchers with world-class high-end computing services

MASSIVE: imaging and visualisation

MASSIVE is the Multi-modal Australian ScienceS Imaging and Visualisation Environment, established in 2010 with the sponsorship of the Australian Synchrotron, Monash University, CSIRO, NCI, VPAC and the State Government of Victoria. The formation of this Victorian-based facility follows the identification of specialised resources to assist in the analysis of characterisation imagery (both in batch and real-time modes), principally, but not exclusively associated with the Australian Synchrotron, and the identification of related image processing and analysis needs nationally, during in the expressions of interest that were sought for the NCI Specialised Facilities program.

The facility caters primarily to two types of users:

  • Those with specific needs in imaging and visualisation including users of synchrotron x-ray, infrared and diffraction imaging, functional and structural MRI, CT, electron microscopy and optical microscopy. The facility provides specific support to researchers to process data “in-experiment”, generate large-scale visualisations, and analyse large-cohort and longitudinal imaging studies.
  • Researchers that can make effective use of MASSIVE hardware, including its GPU capability.

The facility provides an interactive remote desktop environment that supports a range of imaging and visualisation tools, and domain-specific tools for biomedical imaging, neuroimaging, engineering and other fields.

Detailed System Configuration

MASSIVE provides access to two tightly coupled high performance computers.

Combined, the MASSIVE1 and MASSIVE2 have 2,224 CPU-cores.

Detailed system configuration information can be found at

Application Software

MASSIVE provides access to a comprehensive range of imaging and visualisation software, comprising:

  • Volume reconstruction, segmentation and visualisation: X-TRACT, Insight Tool (ITK), Imaris, Seg3D, VolView, Drishti;
  • Imaging processing and analysis: Matlab, Matlab Image Processing and Wavelet Toolboxes, IDL, CImg, ImageJ Open Computer Vision Library, BioImage Suite;
  • Visualisation tools and libraries: Visualisation Toolkit (VTK), OpenDX, Ensight Gold, Visit, Paraview, Vis5D+, SciRun, ImageVis3D, MayaVi, Chromium or Powervue;
  • Domain-specific visualisation and image processing libraries: FSL and SPM, MedINRIA, DtiStudio.

A complete and up-to-date list of the application software available at MASSIVE is located at

User Guide

An online User Guide is provided at


Approximately 15% of the facility (i.e., approximately 8.76M core hours) is made available to researchers nationally through the National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme.

In Collaboration With