Massively Parallel Algorithms for the Lattice Boltzmann Method on NonUniform Grids

Schornbaum F, Rüde U (2016)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2016


Publisher: Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

Book Volume: 38

Pages Range: C96-C126

Article Number: M1035240

Journal Issue: 2


DOI: 10.1137/15M1035240

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The lattice Boltzmann method exhibits excellent scalability on current supercomputing systems and has thus increasingly become an alternative method for large-scale nonstationary flow simulations, reaching up to a trillion (1012) grid nodes. Additionally, grid refinement can lead to substantial savings in memory and compute time. These savings, however, come at the cost of much more complex data structures and algorithms. In particular, the interface between subdomains with different grid sizes must receive special treatment. In this article, we present parallel algorithms, distributed data structures, and communication routines that are implemented in the software framework waLBerla in order to support large-scale, massively parallel lattice Boltzmannbased simulations on nonuniform grids. Additionally, we evaluate the performance of our approach on two current petascale supercomputers. On an IBM Blue Gene/Q system, the largest weak scaling benchmarks with refined grids are executed with almost 2 million threads, demonstrating not only near-perfect scalability but also an absolute performance of close to a trillion lattice Boltzmann cell updates per second. On an Intel-based system, the strong scaling of a simulation with refined grids and a total of more than 8.5 million cells is demonstrated to reach a performance of less than 1 millisecond per time step. This enables simulations with complex, nonuniform grids and 4 million time steps per hour compute time.

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How to cite


Schornbaum, F., & Rüde, U. (2016). Massively Parallel Algorithms for the Lattice Boltzmann Method on NonUniform Grids. SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 38(2), C96-C126.


Schornbaum, Florian, and Ulrich Rüde. "Massively Parallel Algorithms for the Lattice Boltzmann Method on NonUniform Grids." SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing 38.2 (2016): C96-C126.

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