Parallel Algorithms for Radiation Transport on Unstructured Grids

S. J. Plimpton, B. A. Hendrickson, S. P. Burns, W. McLendon III, Proc of SuperComputing 2000 (SC2000), Dallas, TX, November 2000.

The method of discrete ordinates is commonly used to solve the Boltzmann radiation transport equation for applications ranging from simulations of fires to weapons effects. The equations are most efficiently solved by sweeping the radiation flux across the computational grid. For unstructured grids this poses several interesting challenges, particularly when implemented on distributed- memory parallel machines where the grid geometry is spread across processors. We describe an asynchronous, parallel, message-passing algorithm that performs sweeps simultaneously from many directions across unstructured grids. We identify key factors that limit the algorithm's parallel scalability and discuss two enhancements we have made to the basic algorithm: one to prioritize the work within a processor's subdomain and the other to better decompose the unstructured grid across processors. Performance results are given for the basic and enhanced algorithms implemented within a radiation solver running on hundreds of processors of Sandia's Intel Tflops machine and DEC-Alpha CPlant cluster.

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