Next: Material Modeling
After opening the market with electronic
computers civil engineers were among pioneers utilizing this technology
preferably in the area of structural mechanics. The reason was very simple.
The slope - deflection method was widely used by practicing engineers for
the analysis of frame structures. The method was appropriate for simple algorithmization and for coding. There
was developed a lot of codes for the analysis of frame structures.
Several years after introducing computers on the market engineers discovered
finite element method, at the moment general tool for the analysis of problems
in civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical and environmental engineering.
The development of the first systematic design tool was also connected
with civil engineers. ICES (Integrated Civil Engineering System) was developed
on MIT. The real milestone
in increasing the popularity of computer method in engineering was the
introduction of the first PC computer with advanced graphical opportunity.
During that elapsed time the things changed significantly. The power of
nowadays standard PC's is very comparable to the power of former biggest
mini and mainframes. Now it is very difficult to imagine any design without
The aim of this paper is to show
the opportunity how to use parallel technology in computational mechanics
in civil engineering applications in the near future with the special attention
to the cluster technology.
The solution of complex sophisticated problems to model various phenomena
with sufficiently high accuracy and in reasonable time makes the
parallel processing attractive for a large family of applications,
including structural analysis. However it is important to realize
that most of traditional algorithms are inherently not suitable for
parallelization because of their development for sequential processing.
The most natural way for parallelization is the decomposition
of the problem being solved in time or space. The individual domains
are then mapped on individual processors and are solved separately
ensuring the proper response of the whole system by appropriate
communication between the domains. An efficient parallel algorithm
requires a balance of the work (performed on individual domains)
between the processors while maintaining the interprocessor
communication (typical bottleneck of parallel computation) at a minimum.
Since the last decade the parallel computation has become quite feasible
due to the following three aspects. Firstly, a lot of new algorithms,
suitable for parallel processing, have been developed (including efficient
algorithms for domain decomposition). Secondly, the parallel computation
ceased to be limited to parallel supercomputers (equipped with high technology
for even higher price) but can be performed on ordinary computers
interconnected by network into computer cluster. Such a parallel
cluster can even outperform the supercomputers (as IBM SP2, SGI Origin etc)
while keeping the
investment and maintenance costs substantially lower ! And thirdly,
several message passing libraries (typically MPI, PVM), portable
to various hardware and operating system platforms, have been
developed, which allows to port the parallel applications almost to
any platform (including multiplatform parallel computing cluster).
Next: Material Modeling