Solving the Coupled System Improves Computational Efficiency of the Bidomain Equations

J.A. Southern, G. Plank, E.J. Vigmond, J.P. Whiteley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The bidomain equations are frequently used to model the propagation of cardiac action potentials across cardiac tissue. At the whole organ level, the size of the computational mesh required makes their solution a significant computational challenge. As the accuracy of the numerical solution cannot be compromised, efficiency of the solution technique is important to ensure that the results of the simulation can be obtained in a reasonable time while still encapsulating the complexities of the system. In an attempt to increase efficiency of the solver, the bidomain equations are often decoupled into one parabolic equation that is computationally very cheap to solve and an elliptic equation that is much more expensive to solve. In this study, the performance of this uncoupled solution method is compared with an alternative strategy in which the bidomain equations are solved as a coupled system. This seems counterintuitive as the alternative method requires the solution of a much larger linear system at each time step. However, in tests on two 3-D rabbit ventricle benchmarks, it is shown that the coupled method is up to 80% faster than the conventional uncoupled method-and that parallel performance is better for the larger coupled problem.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2404-2412
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-013-04
Acknowledgements: This workwas supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology(KAUST) under Award KUK-C1-013-04.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


Dive into the research topics of 'Solving the Coupled System Improves Computational Efficiency of the Bidomain Equations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this