Parallel Computation in Mechanics
The success of numerical simulation as an independent approach to the solution of engineering problems requires computing capability far exceeding that which is presently available. In this paper, the computing requirements posed by challenging problems in mechanics are examined and contrasted with contemporary supercomputer resources. Of the means available to help fill the gap between the demands of scientific computation and the performance level of present-generation supercomputer systems, parallel processing appears to have the greatest potential for near-term success. Typical parallel computer architectures are reviewed and categorized. Philosophies of parallel processing are distinguished by the number and size of the parallel tasks which they employ. Selected engineering problems are examined for parallelism inherent at the physical level. Typical algorithms and their mappings onto parallel architectures are discussed. Computational examples are presented to document the performance of scientific applications on present-generation parallel processors. Projections are made concerning future algorithms and machine architectures.
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