#sampling #blue-noise


Poisson disk distribution sampling

5 releases (1 stable)

1.0.0 Apr 5, 2021
1.0.0-pre.4 Feb 22, 2021
1.0.0-pre.2 Oct 28, 2020

#299 in Algorithms

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crates.io Documentation

Rust library for sampling a Poisson disk distribution in multiple dimensions.

The Poisson disk distribution produces samples of which no two samples are too close to each other. This results in a more uniform distribution than from pure random sampling.

Example of generated samples

This library is an implementation of the algorithm introduced by Robert Bridson [1] which is O(N) for producing N samples. That is, the sampling time increases linearly with the number of produced samples. For two-dimensional sampling, the sampling time increases with the area and for three-dimensional sampling with the volume.


See the documentation for more information about the library.


Add the library as a dependency to your project in Cargo.toml:

poisson-diskus = "1.0.0"

From 1.0.0 the minimum supported version of Rust is 1.51, due to the use of const generics. The pre-release versions (until 1.0.0-pre.4) support earlier versions of Rust.

Sampling points

To sample, the Bridson algorithm requires:

  • box_size: the size of the domain as a D-dimensional array
  • rmin: the minimum distance between two sampled points
  • k: number of attempts to sample around a generated point (recommended value is 30, increase to slightly improve the sampling)
  • use_pbc: whether the domain is connected to the opposite side and the algorithm should look for collisions over this connection

The sampled points are returned in a standard vector Vec<[f64; D]>, where each point is of type [f64; D]: a D-dimensional array with the coordinates for each axis. The dimension D is identical to that of the given box_size.

use poisson_diskus::bridson;

let box_size = [3.0, 5.0, 7.0];
let rmin = 0.5;
let k = 30;
let use_pbc = false;

let coords: Vec<[f64; 3]> = bridson(&box_size, rmin, k, use_pbc).unwrap();

Larger number of dimensions

The algorithm can sample in an arbitrary number of dimensions, although it is very slow.

use poisson_diskus::bridson;

let box_size = [3.0, 5.0, 3.0, 2.0, 1.0];
let rmin = 1.0;
let k = 30;
let use_pbc = false;

let coords: Vec<[f64; 5]> = bridson(&box_size, rmin, k, use_pbc).unwrap();

Periodic boundary conditions

Use the use_pbc parameter to control whether the algorithm should look for neighbours within the minimum distance in periodic images of the space. This is slower: about 25%-50% for the same number of generated points in two and three dimensions.

Note on accuracy

While the generated results look alright when inspecting by eye the generated distribution is not verified to be accurate. Currently, computing a radial density distribution of samples show some weird behavior.

In short, I would currently recommend against using this for work where the distribution of points is critical. Or, at the very least, to inspect the results before use.

Should you use this library?

Probably not. The results are decent (but not great) and thousands of points are generated in milliseconds on reasonably modern hardware. However, in absolute speed testing the library is worse by an order of magnitude compared to many other implementations in C and even Python.

This is likely due the inefficient grid search which is implemented recursively in order to work with an arbitrary number of dimensions. This may or may not be improved.

  • Ballpark speed: 60,000 generated points in 400 ms, running in release mode on an Intel 4670K at 3.4GHz.


[1] Bridson, R. (2007). Fast Poisson disk sampling in arbitrary dimensions. SIGGRAPH sketches, 10, 1.


This library is offered under the permissive Blue Oak license. See LICENSE.md for more details.


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