This project is currently focused on developing a robust distributed memory PVM/MPI-based package for solving certain separable elliptic PDEs in three space variables. A study of communication requirements and performance on the IBM SP2 parallel computer have demonstrated the feasibility of the parallel algorithm for the intended platforms (loosely or tightly coupled Unix workstations running PVM). Because of the rapidly changing nature of parallel architectures, and the fact that many parallel machines require system specific (non-portable) code, it is often difficult to find publicly available parallel software which is not obsolete. By providing code which uses a portable parallel message-passing library, the investigators hope to increase the usefulness of the research efforts in fields of the specific numerical techniques which they implement.
The current prototype code implements the method of orthogonal spline collocation, although the same parallel methodology can also be used in both finite difference and Galerkin methods for this class of problems. The user interface requirements are under investigation, with the goal of providing a general interface to all three discretization methods and the underlying parallel code implementing each. This will provide the numerical analysis community with an interesting testbed of solution methods within a parallel context.
This application is also being extended for use on the ATM workstation network under development by the Scalable Computing Testbed project of the CAML High Performance Systems and Services Division.