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GalaxSee HPC II: Scaling N-Body Simulations

By David A. Joiner
Kean University, Union, New Jersey

This teaching module continues with a demonstration of parallel and high-performance computing applied to the simulation of n-body system with a consideration of the issues that arise and approaches that are used to scale the simulations.

An initial introduction into GalaxSee HPC is covered in part I of the GalaxSee HPC modules. Part II will focus on numerical issues related to solving the N-Body problem more efficiently, in particular the use of softened potentials in the force calculation, the use of tree-based methods such as the Barnes-Hut method, and the use of spectral methods such as the Particle-Mesh method. Some of the mathematics involved can be performed by a student with a solid basis in algebra; however the theory behind the Particle-Mesh method does assume some knowledge of partial differential equations and of the use of Fourier transforms to simplify the solution of PDEs with periodic boundary conditions.

The module document can be downloaded below and contains details for procuring the source code and documentation.

Resources:

GalaxSeeHPCModule 2.docx : This second module considers alternative approaches to computing solutions to the n-body problem that reduce compute time with minimal impact on the quality of the computed result.

GalaxSee 2 Module Document (.pdf) : The module document in PDF format.