Enabling Scalable Multifluid Plasma Simulations Through Block Preconditioning

  • Edward G. PhillipsEmail author
  • John N. Shadid
  • Eric C. Cyr
  • Sean T. Miller
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computational Science and Engineering book series (LNCSE, volume 132)


Recent work has demonstrated that block preconditioning can scalably accelerate the performance of iterative solvers applied to linear systems arising in implicit multiphysics PDE simulations. The idea of block preconditioning is to decompose the system matrix into physical sub-blocks and apply individual specialized scalable solvers to each sub-block. It can be advantageous to block into simpler segregated physics systems or to block by discretization type. This strategy is particularly amenable to multiphysics systems in which existing solvers, such as multilevel methods, can be leveraged for component physics and to problems with disparate discretizations in which scalable monolithic solvers are rare. This work extends our recent work on scalable block preconditioning methods for structure-preserving discretizatons of the Maxwell equations and our previous work in MHD system solvers to the context of multifluid electromagnetic plasma systems. We argue how a block preconditioner can address both the disparate discretization, as well as strongly-coupled off-diagonal physics that produces fast time-scales (e.g. plasma and cyclotron frequencies). We propose a block preconditioner for plasma systems that allows reuse of existing multigrid solvers for different degrees of freedom while capturing important couplings, and demonstrate the algorithmic scalability of this approach at time-scales of interest.


Multiphysics Block preconditioning Mixed discretizations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward G. Phillips
    • 1
    Email author
  • John N. Shadid
    • 2
  • Eric C. Cyr
    • 2
  • Sean T. Miller
    • 2
  1. 1.Plasma Theory and Simulation DepartmentSandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Center for Computing ResearchSandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA

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