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Computational Science, Engineering & Technology Series
ISSN 1759-3158
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Chapter 3

Parallel Mesh Partitioning on Distributed Memory Systems

C. Walshaw and M. Cross

Computing & Mathematical Sciences, University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom

Full Bibliographic Reference for this chapter
C. Walshaw, M. Cross, "Parallel Mesh Partitioning on Distributed Memory Systems", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Computational Mechanics using High Performance Computing", Saxe-Coburg Publications, Stirlingshire, UK, Chapter 3, pp 59-78, 2002. doi:10.4203/csets.9.3
The problem of deriving parallel mesh partitioning algorithms for mapping unstructured meshes to parallel computers is discussed in this chapter. In itself this raises a paradox - we seek to find a high quality partition of the mesh, but to compute it in parallel we require a partition of the mesh. In fact, we overcome this difficulty by deriving an optimisation strategy which can find a high quality partition even if the quality of the initial partition is very poor and then use a crude distribution scheme for the initial partition. The basis of this strategy is to use a multilevel approach combined with local refinement algorithms. Three such refinement algorithms are outlined and some example results presented which show that they can produce very high global quality partitions, very rapidly. The results are also compared with a similar multilevel serial partitioner and shown to be almost identical in quality. Finally we consider the impact of the initial partition on the results and demonstrate that the final partition quality is, modulo a certain amount of noise, independent of the initial partition.

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