Parallel processing for a discrete element program

C. H. Dowding*, O. Dmytryshyn, T. B. Belytschko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Reconfiguration of a discrete element code for parallel operation provided the opportunity to compare processing speeds on various hardware platforms. The program employed in this comparison, NURBM3DP, is a three dimensional, distinct element code employed to calculate dynamic response of a cavern in a jointed rock mass. On a 16 processor IBM SP2, it is capable of calculating dynamic response with 1000's of explicit time steps of jointed rock masses with up to 2,000,000 blocks. Comparison of single instruction multiple data stream (SIMD) and multiple-instruction multiple-data stream (MIMD) operation showed MIMD processing to provide the best overall parallelization. The full report of the comparisons of operation on different hardware with different data streaming configurations can be found at the research section of the Northwestern University Computational Mechanics site: In addition, a color movie of dynamic response of a million block model of a cavern responding to dynamic excitation can be seen at:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 7 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Computer Science Applications


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