Webinar: Scaling Soft Matter Physics to a Thousand GPUs and Beyond

September 22nd, 2012

The “Ludwig” lattice Boltzmann fluid dynamics application is a versatile application capable of simulating the hydrodynamics of complex fluids, (e.g. mixtures, surficants, liquid crystals, particle suspensions) to allow cutting-edge research into condensed matter physics. On October 3, Dr. Alan Gray from the University of Edinburgh presents a webinar on his team’s experiences in scaling the application on the Cray XK6 hybrid supercomputer. The presentation will cover:

  • A review of excellent scaling up to O(1000) GPUs
  • Steps taken to maximize performance on each GPU
  • Designing the communication to allow efficient usage of many GPUs in parallel, including the overlapping of several stages using CUDA stream functionality
  • Advanced functionality, including how to include colloidal particles in the simulation while minimizing data transfer overheads

Register at http://www.gputechconf.com/page/gtc-express-webinar.html.

Wall Orientation and Shear Stress in the Lattice Boltzmann Model

March 16th, 2012


The wall shear stress is a quantity of profound importance for clinical diagnosis of artery diseases. The lattice Boltzmann is an easily parallelizable numerical method of solving the flow problems, but it suffers from errors of the velocity field near the boundaries which leads to errors in the wall shear stress and normal vectors computed from the velocity. In this work we present a simple formula to calculate the wall shear stress in the lattice Boltzmann model and propose to compute wall normals, which are necessary to compute the wall shear stress, by taking the weighted mean over boundary facets lying in a vicinity of a wall element. We carry out several tests and observe an increase of accuracy of computed normal vectors over other methods in two and three dimensions. Using the scheme we compute the wall shear stress in an inclined and bent channel fluid flow and show a minor influence of the normal on the numerical error, implying that that the main error arises due to a corrupted velocity field near the staircase boundary. Finally, we calculate the wall shear stress in the human abdominal aorta in steady conditions using our method and compare the results with a standard finite volume solver and experimental data available in the literature. Applications of our ideas in a simplified protocol for data preprocessing in medical applications are discussed.

(Maciej Matyka, Zbigniew Koza, Łukasz Mirosław: “Wall Orientation and Shear Stress in the Lattice Boltzmann Model”, Preprint, 2012. [arXiv])