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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 14
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping and A.I. Khan
Paper XIII.1

Network Distributed Finite Element Analysis

J.W. Baugh and H.S. Chadha

Department of Civil Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, United States of America

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
J.W. Baugh, H.S. Chadha, "Network Distributed Finite Element Analysis", in B.H.V. Topping, A.I. Khan, (Editors), "Information Technology for Civil & Structural Engineers", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 205-218, 1993. doi:10.4203/ccp.14.13.1
The widespread availability of local-area networks has made the combined processing power of workstations a viable approach for compute-intensive analyses. In this paper, we describe several distributed algorithms for structural analysis using finite element methods, and we assess their performance on a conventional Ethernet-connected workstation network. Direct, iterative, and hybrid equation solvers are evaluated for their performance on plane-elasticity problems, and are contrasted with respect to overall solution time and efficiency in distributing computations over a network. Equations modeling the costs of network communication and structural analysis computations are derived, and are subsequently used to predict the performance of several variations on the implemented algorithms. Our results show that each of the methods performs well on network architectures, and in particular that, while direct methods usually minimize network communication, certain iterative and hybrid methods can often be used to minimize overall solution time.

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