Extending ALE3D, an Arbitrarily Connected hexahedral 3D Code, to Very Large Problem Size (U)

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As the number of compute units increases on the ASC computers, the prospect of running previously unimaginably large problems is becoming a reality. In an arbitrarily connected 3D finite element code, like ALE3D, one must provide a unique identification number for every node, element, face, and edge. This is required for a number of reasons, including defining the global connectivity array required for domain decomposition, identifying appropriate communication patterns after domain decomposition, and determining the appropriate load locations for implicit solvers, for example. In most codes, the unique identification number is defined as a 32-bit integer. Thus the maximum value ... continued below

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Nichols, A. L. December 15, 2010.

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As the number of compute units increases on the ASC computers, the prospect of running previously unimaginably large problems is becoming a reality. In an arbitrarily connected 3D finite element code, like ALE3D, one must provide a unique identification number for every node, element, face, and edge. This is required for a number of reasons, including defining the global connectivity array required for domain decomposition, identifying appropriate communication patterns after domain decomposition, and determining the appropriate load locations for implicit solvers, for example. In most codes, the unique identification number is defined as a 32-bit integer. Thus the maximum value available is 231, or roughly 2.1 billion. For a 3D geometry consisting of arbitrarily connected hexahedral elements, there are approximately 3 faces for every element, and 3 edges for every node. Since the nodes and faces need id numbers, using 32-bit integers puts a hard limit on the number of elements in a problem at roughly 700 million. The first solution to this problem would be to replace 32-bit signed integers with 32-bit unsigned integers. This would increase the maximum size of a problem by a factor of 2. This provides some head room, but almost certainly not one that will last long. Another solution would be to replace all 32-bit int declarations with 64-bit long long declarations. (long is either a 32-bit or a 64-bit integer, depending on the OS). The problem with this approach is that there are only a few arrays that actually need to extended size, and thus this would increase the size of the problem unnecessarily. In a future computing environment where CPUs are abundant but memory relatively scarce, this is probably the wrong approach. Based on these considerations, we have chosen to replace only the global identifiers with the appropriate 64-bit integer. The problem with this approach is finding all the places where data that is specified as a 32-bit integer needs to be replaced with the 64-bit integer. that need to be replaced. In the rest of this paper we describe the techniques used to facilitate this transformation, issues raised, and issues still to be addressed. This poster will describe the reasons, methods, issues associated with extending the ALE3D code to run problems larger than 700 million elements.

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PDF-file: 5 pages; size: 1.3 Mbytes

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  • Presented at: NECDC 2010, Los Alamos, NM, United States, Oct 18 - Oct 22, 2010

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  • Report No.: LLNL-CONF-464132
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1018785
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc830243

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  • December 15, 2010

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 3:32 p.m.

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Nichols, A. L. Extending ALE3D, an Arbitrarily Connected hexahedral 3D Code, to Very Large Problem Size (U), article, December 15, 2010; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc830243/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.