A group based solution strategy for multi-physics simulations in parallel

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Multi-physics simulation often requires the solution of a suite of interacting physical phenomena, the nature of which may vary both spatially and in time. For example, in a casting simulation there is thermo-mechanical behaviour in the structural mould, whilst in the cast, as the metal cools and solidifies, the buoyancy induced flow ceases and stresses begin to develop. When using a single code to simulate such problems it is conventional to solve each 'physics' component over the whole single mesh, using definitions of material properties or source terms to ensure that a solved variable remains zero in the region in which the associated physical phenomenon is not active. Although this method is secure, in that it enables any and all the 'active' physics to be captured across the whole domain, it is computationally inefficient in both scalar and parallel. An alternative, known as the 'group' solver approach, involves more formal domain decomposition whereby specific combinations of physics are solved for on prescribed sub-domains. The 'group' solution method has been implemented in a three-dimensional finite volume, unstructured mesh multi-physics code, which is parallelised, employing a multi-phase mesh partitioning capability which attempts to optimise the load balance across the target parallel HPC system. The potential benefits of the 'group' solution strategy are evaluated on a class of multi-physics problems involving thermo-fluid-structural interaction on both a single and multi-processor systems. In summary, the 'group' solver is a third faster on a single processor than the single domain strategy and preserves its scalability on a parallel cluster system. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




Williams, A. J., Croft, T. N., & Cross, M. (2006). A group based solution strategy for multi-physics simulations in parallel. Applied Mathematical Modelling, 30(7), 656–674. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apm.2005.09.002

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