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Concepts and Implementation of Parallel Finite Element Analysis

Concepts and Implementation of Parallel Finite Element Analysis


Chiang, K.N.; Fulton, R.E. (1990) Journal of Computers and Structures, Vol. 36, No. 6, 1039-1046.


Structural Analysis, Dynamics--Computer Aided Analysis, Mathematical Techniques--Finite Element Method, Computer Systems, Digital--Parallel Processing, Parallel Finite Element Analysis


The design of complex engineering systems such as advanced aircraft structures and offshore platforms requires continually increasing levels of detail in supporting analysis. The finite element method is widely used as a computational method with which to model physical systems in various engineering problems. For detailed analyses of complex designs, structural models composed of several thousands of degrees of freedom are no longer uncommon. Such design activities require large order finite element and/or finite difference models and excessive computation demands in both calculation speed and information management. The computer simulation of the nonlinear dynamic response of structures and the implementation of parallel FEM systems on a high speed multiprocessor have received considerable attention in recent years. The driving forces of these activities included the reliable simulation of automotive and aircraft crash phenomena, and the increased performance of computers. Most existing major structural analysis software systems were designed 10-20 years ago and have been optimized for current sequential computers. Such systems often are not well structured to take maximum advantage of the recent and continuing revolution in parallel vector computing capabilities. These parallel vector computer architectures not only occur in the form of large supercomputers, but are now also occurring for minicomputers and even engineering workstations. To benefit from advances in parallel computers, software must be developed which takes maximum advantage of the parallel processing feature.