Swarm-NG: a CUDA Library for Parallel n-body Integrations with focus on Simulations of Planetary Systems

Saleh Dindar, Eric B. Ford, Mario Juric, Young In Yeo, Jianwei Gao, Aaron C. Boley, Benjamin Nelson, Jorg Peters
Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering, University of Florida, CSE Building, Gainesville, FL, 32611-6120, USA
arXiv:1208.1157v1 [astro-ph.EP] (6 Aug 2012)










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We present Swarm-NG, a C++ library for the efficient direct integration of many n-body systems using highly-parallel Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), such as NVIDIA’s Tesla T10 and M2070 GPUs. While previous studies have demonstrated the benefit of GPUs for n-body simulations with thousands to millions of bodies, Swarm-NG focuses on many few-body systems, e.g., thousands of systems with 3…15 bodies each, as is typical for the study of planetary systems. Swarm-NG parallelizes the simulation, including both the numerical integration of the equations of motion and the evaluation of forces using NVIDIA’s "Compute Unified Device Architecture" (CUDA) on the GPU. Swarm-NG includes optimized implementations of 4th order time-symmetrized Hermite integration and mixed variable symplectic integration, as well as several sample codes for other algorithms to illustrate how non-CUDA-savvy users may themselves introduce customized integrators into the Swarm-NG framework. To optimize performance, we analyze the effect of GPU-specific parameters on performance under double precision. Applications of Swarm-NG include studying the late stages of planet formation, testing the stability of planetary systems and evaluating the goodness-of-fit between many planetary system models and observations of extrasolar planet host stars (e.g., radial velocity, astrometry, transit timing). While Swarm-NG focuses on the parallel integration of many planetary systems,the underlying integrators could be applied to a wide variety of problems that require repeatedly integrating a set of ordinary differential equations many times using different initial conditions and/or parameter values.
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