High-performance dune modules for solving large-scale, strongly anisotropic elliptic problems with applications to aerospace composites

R. Butler, T. Dodwell, A. Reinarz, A. Sandhu, R. Scheichl, L. Seelinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)


The key innovation in this paper is an open-source, high-performance iterative solver for high contrast, strongly anisotropic elliptic partial differential equations implemented within dune-pdelab. The iterative solver exploits a robust, scalable two-level additive Schwarz preconditioner, GenEO (Spillane et al., 2014). The development of this solver has been motivated by the need to overcome the limitations of commercially available modelling tools for solving structural analysis simulations in aerospace composite applications. Our software toolbox dune-composites encapsulates the mathematical complexities of the underlying packages within an efficient C++ framework, providing an application interface to our new high-performance solver. We illustrate its use on a range of industrially motivated examples, which should enable other scientists to build on and extend dune-composites and the GenEO preconditioner for use in their own applications. We demonstrate the scalability of the solver on more than 15,000 cores of the UK national supercomputer ARCHER, solving an aerospace composite problem with over 200 million degrees of freedom in a few minutes. This scale of computation brings composites problems that would otherwise be unthinkable into the feasible range. To demonstrate the wider applicability of the new solver, we also confirm the robustness and scalability of the solver on SPE10, a challenging benchmark in subsurface flow/reservoir simulation. Program summary: Program Title: dune-composites Program Files doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.17632/96mtdcmjsb.1 Licensing provisions: BSD 3-clause Programming language: C++ Nature of problem: dune-composites is designed to solve anisotropic linear elasticity equations for anisotropic, heterogeneous materials, e.g. composite materials. To achieve this, our contribution also implements a new preconditioner in dune-pdelab. Solution method: The anisotropic elliptic partial differential equations are solved via the finite element method. The resulting linear system is solved via an iterative solver with a robust, scalable two-level overlapping Schwarz preconditioner: GenEO.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106997
JournalComputer Physics Communications
Early online date25 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Composites
  • Domain decomposition
  • High performance computing
  • Parallel iterative solvers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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