The compute unified device architecture is an almost conventional programming approach for managing computations on a graphics processing unit (GPU) as a data-parallel computing device. With a maximum number of 240 cores in combination with a high memory bandwidth, a recent GPU offers resources for computational physics. We apply this technology to methods of fluctuation analysis, which includes determination of the scaling behavior of a stochastic process and the equilibrium autocorrelation function. Additionally, the recently introduced pattern formation conformity (Preis T et al 2008 Europhys. Lett. 82 68005), which quantifies pattern-based complex short-time correlations of a time series, is calculated on a GPU and analyzed in detail. Results are obtained up to 84 times faster than on a current central processing unit core. When we apply this method to high-frequency time series of the German BUND future, we find significant pattern-based correlations on short time scales. Furthermore, an anti-persistent behavior can be found on short time scales. Additionally, we compare the recent GPU generation, which provides a theoretical peak performance of up to roughly 1012 floating point operations per second with the previous one.
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