Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

5-2011

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Science in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

Major Advisor

Inanc Senocak, Ph.D.

Abstract

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is an important field in high performance computing with numerous applications. Solving problems in thermal and fluid sciences demands enormous computing resources and has been one of the primary applications used on supercomputers and large clusters. Modern graphics processing units (GPUs) with many-core architectures have emerged as general-purpose parallel computing platforms that can accelerate simulation science applications substantially. While significant speedups have been obtained with single and multiple GPUs on a single workstation, large problems require more resources. Conventional clusters of central processing units (CPUs) are now being augmented with GPUs in each compute-node to tackle large problems.

The present research investigates methods of taking advantage of the multilevel parallelism in multi-node, multi-GPU systems to develop scalable simulation science software. The primary application the research develops is a cluster-ready GPU-accelerated Navier-Stokes incompressible flow solver that includes advanced numerical methods, including a geometric multigrid pressure Poisson solver. The research investigates multiple implementations to explore computation / communication overlapping methods. The research explores methods for coarse-grain parallelism, including POSIX threads, MPI, and a hybrid OpenMP-MPI model. The application includes a number of usability features, including periodic VTK (Visualization Toolkit) output, a run-time configuration file, and flexible setup of obstacles to represent urban areas and complex terrain. Numerical features include a variety of time-stepping methods, buoyancy-drivenflow, adaptive time-stepping, various iterative pressure solvers, and a new parallel 3D geometric multigrid solver. At each step, the project examines performance and scalability measures using the Lincoln Tesla cluster at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Longhorn cluster at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). The results demonstrate that multi-GPU clusters can substantially accelerate computational fluid dynamics simulations.

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