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PROCEEDINGS OF THE THIRTEENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CIVIL, STRUCTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING COMPUTING
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping and Y. Tsompanakis
Improving Engineer Efficiency in the Design of Railway Electrical Systems by using a High Performance Computing Platform
E. Arias, T. Rojo, D. Cazorla and F. Cuartero
Albacete Research Institute of Informatics, Albacete, Spain
E. Arias, T. Rojo, D. Cazorla, F. Cuartero, "Improving Engineer Efficiency in the Design of Railway Electrical Systems by using a High Performance Computing Platform", in B.H.V. Topping, Y. Tsompanakis, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 12, 2011. doi:10.4203/ccp.96.12
Keywords: high speed railways, pantograph-catenary interaction, resource management, high throughput computing, BOINC.
In recent years, railway transport has evolved by adapting itself to new user requirements, which demand for greater comfort and safety. This, however, is bound up with a decrease in journey time, which implies an increase in the speed of the train. To achieve this, it is necessary to carry out an optimal design of the interaction pantograph-catenary, to ensure suitable placement of the line.
In [1,2,3] the authors presented a high performance implementation that was carried out on various algorithms to solve the equilibrium equation of the system in a catenary model, using spans with equal and different numbers of droppers and equal and different positions, and other configuration parameters. All these algorithms have been used as part of the tool CALPE 6.0  that, at present, is used by the Spanish Railway Company as an important tool in the development of catenary electrical systems.
However, the amount of parameters to be consider in order to obtain an optimal installation of the pantograph-catenary system is considerable (almost 100). If, in addition, it is considered that the installation of a set of spans covers 1200 m approximately, and the significant length of the Spanish railway system, it is easy to imagine the great amount of simulations that must be carried out considering the variability of the parameters. Even though, taking into account the expertise of the engineers in order to reduce the number of tests (in this case the engineers belong to ADIF , the company in charge of the railway infrastructures in Spain), this number is still very high.
For that reason, the aim of this paper is to show how the BOINC  platform has been used in order to solve the pantograph-catenary interaction problem using distributed computing on non-dedicated computers. This new approach allows us to change the engineers methodology, changing from a trial and error methodology to a search for good or best solution methodology.
As far as we know, there are a few software packages which compute the static problem for the pantograph-catenary interaction [7,8]. However, none of them use a HTC platform to optimize the use of the computational resources available at the enterprizes.
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