Contributions to Parallel Simulation of Equation-Based Models on Graphics Processing Units

Kristian Stavaker
Dept. of Computer and Information Science, Linkopings universitet, SE-581 83 Linkoping, Sweden
Linkopings universitet, 2011


   title={Contributions to Parallel Simulation of Equation-Based Models on Graphics Processing Units},

   author={Stavaker, K.},



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In this thesis we investigate techniques and methods for parallel simulation of equation-based, object-oriented (EOO) Modelica models on graphics processing units (GPUs). Modelica is being developed through an international effort via the Modelica Association. With Modelica it is possible to build computationally heavy models; simulating such models however might take a considerable amount of time. Therefor techniques of utilizing parallel multi-core architectures for simulation are desirable. The goal in this work is mainly automatic parallelization of equation-based models, that is, it is up to the compiler and not the end-user modeler to make sure that code is generated that can efficiently utilize parallel multi-core architectures. Not only the code generation process has to be altered but the accompanying run-time system has to be modified as well. Adding explicit parallel language constructs to Modelica is also discussed to some extent. GPUs can be used to do general purpose scientific and engineering computing. The theoretical processing power of GPUs has surpassed that of CPUs due to the highly parallel structure of GPUs. GPUs are, however, only good at solving certain problems of data-parallel nature. In this thesis we relate several contributions, by the author and co-workers, to each other. We conclude that the massively parallel GPU architectures are currently only suitable for a limited set of Modelica models. This might change with future GPU generations. CUDA for instance, the main software platform used in the thesis for general purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU), is changing rapidly and more features are being added such as recursion, function pointers, C++ templates, etc.; however the underlying hardware architecture is still optimized for data-parallelism.
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