Large-scale parallel discrete element simulations of granular flow

Walther J.H., Sbalzarini I.F., International Journal for Computer-Aided Engineering and Software, 26, 6, 688-697, 2009


The purpose of this paper is to present large-scale parallel direct numerical simulations of
granular flow, using a novel, portable software program for discrete element method (DEM)
Since particle methods provide a unifying framework for both
discrete and continuous systems, the program is based on the parallel particle mesh (PPM) library, which has already been demonstrated to provide transparent parallelization and state-of-the-art parallel efficiency using particle methods for continuous systems.
By adapting PPM to discrete systems, results are reported from three-dimensional
simulations of a sand avalanche down an inclined plane.
The paper demonstrates the parallel performance and scalability of the new
simulation program using up to 122 million particles on 192 processors, employing adaptive domain decomposition and load balancing techniques.