Design and Optimization of OpenFOAM-based CFD Applications for Modern Hybrid and Heterogeneous HPC Platforms

  • Amani AlOnazi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The progress of high performance computing platforms is dramatic, and most of the simulations carried out on these platforms result in improvements on one level, yet expose shortcomings of current CFD packages. Therefore, hardware-aware design and optimizations are crucial towards exploiting modern computing resources. This thesis proposes optimizations aimed at accelerating numerical simulations, which are illus- trated in OpenFOAM solvers. A hybrid MPI and GPGPU parallel conjugate gradient linear solver has been designed and implemented to solve the sparse linear algebraic kernel that derives from two CFD solver: icoFoam, which is an incompressible flow solver, and laplacianFoam, which solves the Poisson equation, for e.g., thermal dif- fusion. A load-balancing step is applied using heterogeneous decomposition, which decomposes the computations taking into account the performance of each comput- ing device and seeking to minimize communication. In addition, we implemented the recently developed pipeline conjugate gradient as an algorithmic improvement, and parallelized it using MPI, GPGPU, and a hybrid technique. While many questions of ultimately attainable per node performance and multi-node scaling remain, the ex- perimental results show that the hybrid implementation of both solvers significantly outperforms state-of-the-art implementations of a widely used open source package.
Date of AwardFeb 2014
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorDavid Keyes (Supervisor)


  • hybrid multi GPU
  • Conjugate Gradient
  • Open FOAM
  • Multicore Solver

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