KONWIHR Project: CompSteer


CompSteer: Computational Steering of Complex Flow Simulations

Project summary

Computational Science and Engineering faces a continuous increase of speed of computers and availability of very fast networks. Yet, it seems that some opportunities offered by these ongoing developments are only used to a fraction for numerical simulation. Moreover, despite new possibilities in computer visualisation, virtual or augmented reality, and collaboration models, most available engineering software still follows the classical way of a strict separation of pre-processing, computing, and post-processing. In the previous work of the applicants of this proposal, some of the major obstructions for an interactive computation for complex simulation tasks in engineering sciences have been identified and partially removed. These were especially found in traditional software structures, in the definition of geometric models and boundary conditions, and in the often still very tedious work of generating computational meshes. A generic approach for collaborative computational steering has been developed, where pre- and post-processing are integrated with high-performance computing and which supports cooperation of workgroups being connected via the internet. Suitable numerical methods are at the core of this approach such as the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) for fluid flow simulation. The proposed project will extend this approach in different directions:

  • The proposal focuses on interactive computational fluid dynamics simulations including particle transport. In order to tackle the huge computational effort of the underlying flow problems, parallelisation is inevitable. Hence, already existing codes (developed for the old HITACHI vector architecture) will be ported, extended, and optimised for the HLRB II dual-core architecture, and they will be prepared for future multi- and many-core architectures. This comprises parallelisation of particle transport, performance optimisation of LBM (exploiting the shared-memory concept of HLRB II), and load balancing techniques according to the changing geometry due to steering, e. g.
  • The versatility of the underlying geometric models will be extended. Special emphasis will be laid on the development of grid generation techniques being robust against flaws in the geometric model (small gaps between or overlaps of surface elements). These flaws occur very frequently in practice and are one of the major reasons for too long engineering working cycles in computational engineering. Where these flaws cannot be healed automatically, methods will be developed to easier identify and interactively remove them. Automatic and robust mesh generation is an essential prerequisite for interactive computational steering.
  • Simulation of particle transport will be included into the computational steering model. To this end, the KONWIHR-II-project proposed here will be associated to a recently started project group within the TUM International Graduate School of Science and Engineering (IGSSE) on Particle Dynamics in Turbulent Flows (see External link: www.igsse.de for details). In this associated project, key research issues are: assessment of individual terms in the particle transport equation, modelling of mechanisms such as particle-fluid, particleparticle and particle-wall interaction, the transition from stochastic particle models to a deterministic description of second order moments, and multi-scale approaches for an enhanced numerical simulation. Based on the work in this IGSSE project, the research proposed here will integrate the interaction models in the lattice Boltzmann flow simulator and further develop the numerical methods for the transport simulation with respect to the demands of a computational steering environment.

KONWIHR funding

  • KONWIHR funding of CompSteer: 9/2008 - 8/2011


  • Prof. Dr. Ernst Rank, Lehrstuhl für Computation in Engineering, TU-München
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Bungartz, Lehrstuhl für Informatik mit Schwerpunkt Wissenschaftliches Rechnen, Fakultät für Informatik, TU-München

Project staff:

  • Atanas Atanasov, Lehrstuhl für Informatik mit Schwerpunkt Wissenschaftliches Rechnen, Fakultät für Informatik, TU-München
  • Dipl.-Ing. Jérôme Frisch, Lehrstuhl für Computation in Engineering, TU-München
  • Dr. Christoph van Treeck, Lehrstuhl für Computation in Engineering, TU-München
  • Dr. Miriam Mehl, Lehrstuhl für Informatik mit Schwerpunkt Wissenschaftliches Rechnen, Fakultät für Informatik, TU-München
  • Dr. Ralf-Peter Mundani, Lehrstuhl für Computation in Engineering, TU-München
  • Dr. Tobias Weinzierl, Lehrstuhl für Informatik mit Schwerpunkt Wissenschaftliches Rechnen, Fakultät für Informatik, TU-München

Publications and presentations

  • A. Atanasov, T. Weinzierl: Query-driven multiscale data postprocessing in computational fluid dynamics, Procedia CS, (2011).
  • A. Atanasov, H.-J. Bungartz, J. Frisch, M. Mehl, R.-P. Mundani, E. Rank, C. van Treeck: Computational Steering of Complex Flow Simulations, High Performance Computing in Science and Engineering, Garching 2009. (Ed: S. Wagner, A. Bode and G. Wellein ), Springer (Berlin, Heidelberg), (2010).
  • H.-J. Bungartz, M. Mehl, T. Neckel, T. Weinzierl: The PDE framework Peano applied to fluid dynamics: an efficient implementation of a parallel multiscale fluid dynamics solver on octree-like adaptive Cartesian grids, Computational Mechanics, 46(1) (2010) 103-114.
  • C. van Treeck, M. Pfaffinger, P. Wenisch, J. Frisch, Z. Yue, M. Egger, E. Rank: Towards Computational Steering of Thermal Comfort Assessment, IndoorAir2008, August 17-22, Copenhagen, Denmark, (2008).
  • C. v. Treeck, P. Wenisch, A. Borrmann, M. Pfaffinger, O. Wenisch, E. Rank: ComfSim - Interaktive Simulation des thermischen Komforts in Innenräumen auf Höchstleistungsrechnern, Bauphysik, 29:(1) (2007) 2-6. External link: DOI: 10.1002/bapi.200710002
  • C. van Treeck, P. Wenisch , A. Borrmann, M. Pfaffinger, N. Cenic, E. Rank: tilizing high performance supercomputing facilities for interactive thermal comfort assessment, Proc. 10th Int. IBPSA Conference Building Simulation, September 3-6, Bejing, China, (2007).
  • P. Wenisch, C. v. Treeck, A. Borrmann, E. Rank, O.Wenisch: Computational steering on distributed systems: Indoor comfort simulations as a case study of interactive CFD on supercomputers, International Journal of Parallel, Emergent and Distributed Systems, 22:(4) (2007) 275-291. External link: DOI: 10.1016/j.apm.2005.11.022
  • A. Borrmann, P. Wenisch, C. van Treeck, E. Rank: Collaborative computational steering: Principles and application in HVAC layout, Integrated Computer-Aided Engineering (ICAE), 13:(4) (2006) 361-376.
  • C. van Treeck, E. Rank, M. Krafczyk, J. Tölke, B. Nachtwey: Extension of a hybrid thermal LBE scheme for Large-Eddy simulations of turbulent convective flows, Computers and Fluids, 35 (2006) 863-871.