PPM – A highly efficient parallel particle–mesh library for the simulation of continuum systems


I.F. Sbalzarini, J.H. Walther, M. Bergdorf, S.E. Hieber, E.M. Kotsalis, P. Koumoutsakos, Journal of Computational Physics, 215:566-588, 2006



This paper presents a highly efficient parallel particle-mesh (PPM) library, based on a unifying particle formulation for the simulation of continuous systems. In this formulation, the grid-free character of particle methods is relaxed by the introduction of a mesh for the reinitialization of the particles, the computation of the field equations, and the discretization of differential operators. The present utilization of the mesh does not detract from the adaptivity, the efficient handling of complex geometries, the minimal dissipation, and the good stability properties of particle methods.

The coexistence of meshes and particles, allows for the development of a consistent and adaptive numerical method, but it presents a set of challenging parallelization issues that have hindered in the past the broader use of particle methods. The present library solves the key parallelization issues involving particle-mesh interpolations and the balancing of processor particle loading, using a novel adaptive tree for mixed domain decompositions along with a coloring scheme for the particle-mesh interpolation.

The high parallel efficiency of the library is demonstrated in a series of benchmark tests on distributed memory and on a shared-memory vector architecture. The modularity of the method is shown by a range of simulations, from compressible vortex rings using a novel formulation of smooth particle hydrodynamics, to simulations of diffusion in real biological cell organelles.

The present library enables large scale simulations of diverse physical problems using adaptive particle methods and provides a computational tool that is a viable alternative to mesh-based methods. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


DOI: 10.1016/j.jcp.2005.11.017