Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Efficient particle-in-cell simulation of auroral plasma phenomena using a CUDA enabled graphics processing unit
by Sewell, Stephen, M.S.E., The University of Alabama in Huntsville, 2014, 148; 1559557
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis introduces a software framework that effectively utilizes low-cost commercially available Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) to simulate complex scientific plasma phenomena that are modeled using the Particle-In-Cell (PIC) paradigm. The software framework that was developed conforms to the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA), a standard for general purpose graphic processing that was introduced by NVIDIA Corporation. This framework has been verified for correctness and applied to advance the state of understanding of the electromagnetic aspects of the development of the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis.

For each phase of the PIC methodology, this research has identified one or more methods to exploit the problem's natural parallelism and effectively map it for execution on the graphic processing unit and its host processor. The sources of overhead that can reduce the effectiveness of parallelization for each of these methods have also been identified. One of the novel aspects of this research was the utilization of particle sorting during the grid interpolation phase. The final representation resulted in simulations that executed about 38 times faster than simulations that were run on a single-core general-purpose processing system. The scalability of this framework to larger problem sizes and future generation systems has also been investigated.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wells, B. Earl
Commitee: Kulick, Jeffrey H., Milenkovic, Aleksandar
School: The University of Alabama in Huntsville
Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering
School Location: United States -- Alabama
Source: MAI 53/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Computer Engineering, Plasma physics, Computer science
Keywords: AKR, Auroral kilometric radiation, Compute unified device architecture, GPU, PIC, Particle-in-cell
Publication Number: 1559557
ISBN: 978-1-321-00315-4
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