Discrete element modelling on a cluster of workstations

JW Baugh and RKS Konduri, ENGINEERING WITH COMPUTERS, 17, 1-15 (2001).

DOI: 10.1007/PL00007192

We describe a distributed computing system for discrete element modelling that has been designed for loosely-coupled networks of workstations. The implementation is based on DM2, a state-of-the-art discrete element modelling technique for simulating the behaviour of energetic materials and modelling shock compaction phenomena. The underlying computational approach is derived from particle methods, where short-range intel actions, both mechanical and thermochemical, determine individual particle movement and state. Using spatial decomposition, a client-server software architecture distributes the computations and, at the language level, Berkeley sockets enable communication between conventional Unix processes on workstations connected by an Ethernet. We evaluate the performance of the system in tev,ns of overall execution rime and efficiency, and develop a simple model of computational and communication costs that enables lo to predict ifs performance in other contexts. We conclude that distributed implementations of short-range particle methods can be very effective, even on non-dedicated communication networks.

Return to Publications page