Advances in Computers and Information in Engineering Research, Volume 1
3 Accelerating Multi-Body Simulation and Visualization with GPU Computing
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This chapter discusses a multi-physics simulation engine, called Chrono, that relies heavily on parallel computing. Chrono aims at simulating the dynamics of systems containing rigid bodies, flexible (compliant) bodies, and fluid-rigid body interaction. To this end, it provides five modules: equation formulation (modeling), equation solution (simulation), collision detection support, domain decomposition for parallel computing, and post-processing analysis with emphasis on high quality rendering/visualization. For each component we point out how parallel central processing unit (CPU) and/or graphics processing unit (GPU) computing have been leveraged to allow for the physical simulation of problems with millions of degrees of freedom such as (1) rigid multi-body dynamics, (2) flexible body dynamics with friction and contact, and (3) fluid-structure interaction problems. Simulation and visualization of these physical phenomena becomes even more difficult at large scales, such as in granular dynamics.