Developing extensible Lattice-Boltzmann simulators for general-purpose graphics-processing units

Stuart D.C. Walsh, Martin O. Saar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Lattice-Boltzmannmethods are versatile numericalmodeling techniques capable of reproducing a wide variety of fluid-mechanical behavior. These methods are well suited to parallel implementation, particularly on the single-instruction multiple data (SIMD) parallel processing environments found in computer graphics processing units (GPUs). Although recent programming tools dramatically improve the ease with which GPUbased applications can be written, the programming environment still lacks the flexibility available to more traditional CPU programs. In particular, it may be difficult to develop modular and extensible programs that require variable on-device functionality with current GPU architectures. This paper describes a process of automatic code generation that overcomes these difficulties for lattice-Boltzmann simulations. It details the development of GPU-based modules for an extensible lattice-Boltzmann simulation package - LBHydra. The performance of the automatically generated code is compared to equivalent purposewritten codes for both single-phase,multiphase, andmulticomponent flows. The flexibility of the new method is demonstrated by simulating a rising, dissolving droplet moving through a porous medium with user generated lattice-Boltzmann models and subroutines.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunications in Computational Physics
PublisherGlobal Science Press
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Discrete Simulation of Fluid Dynamics (DSFD 2011) - Fargo, United States of America
Duration: 8 Aug 201112 Aug 2011
Conference number: 20th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Discrete Simulation of Fluid Dynamics (DSFD 2011)
Abbreviated titleDSFD 2011
CountryUnited States of America


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Graphics processing units
  • Lattice-Boltzmann methods

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