The AAPS Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 1212–1221

Novel Hybrid GPU–CPU Implementation of Parallelized Monte Carlo Parametric Expectation Maximization Estimation Method for Population Pharmacokinetic Data Analysis

Research Article

DOI: 10.1208/s12248-013-9524-0

Cite this article as:
Ng, C.M. AAPS J (2013) 15: 1212. doi:10.1208/s12248-013-9524-0


The development of a population PK/PD model, an essential component for model-based drug development, is both time- and labor-intensive. A graphical-processing unit (GPU) computing technology has been proposed and used to accelerate many scientific computations. The objective of this study was to develop a hybrid GPU–CPU implementation of parallelized Monte Carlo parametric expectation maximization (MCPEM) estimation algorithm for population PK data analysis. A hybrid GPU–CPU implementation of the MCPEM algorithm (MCPEMGPU) and identical algorithm that is designed for the single CPU (MCPEMCPU) were developed using MATLAB in a single computer equipped with dual Xeon 6-Core E5690 CPU and a NVIDIA Tesla C2070 GPU parallel computing card that contained 448 stream processors. Two different PK models with rich/sparse sampling design schemes were used to simulate population data in assessing the performance of MCPEMCPU and MCPEMGPU. Results were analyzed by comparing the parameter estimation and model computation times. Speedup factor was used to assess the relative benefit of parallelized MCPEMGPU over MCPEMCPU in shortening model computation time. The MCPEMGPU consistently achieved shorter computation time than the MCPEMCPU and can offer more than 48-fold speedup using a single GPU card. The novel hybrid GPU–CPU implementation of parallelized MCPEM algorithm developed in this study holds a great promise in serving as the core for the next-generation of modeling software for population PK/PD analysis.


GPU computing modeling and simulation Monte Carlo parametric expectation maximization method nonlinear mixed-effect model population data analysis 

Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Clinical Pharmacology and TherapeuticsChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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