Efficient Simulation of Fluid Flow and Transport in Heterogeneous Media Using Graphics Processing Units (GPUs)

Hassan Dashtian, Muhammad Sahimi
Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-1211
arXiv:1908.03301 [physics.comp-ph], (9 Aug 2019)


   title={Efficient Simulation of Fluid Flow and Transport in Heterogeneous Media Using Graphics Processing Units (GPUs)},

   author={Dashtian, Hassan and Sahimi, Muhammad},






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Networks of interconnected resistors, springs and beams, or pores are standard models of studying scalar and vector transport processes in heterogeneous materials and media, such as fluid flow in porous media, and conduction, deformations, and electric and dielectric breakdown in heterogeneous solids. The computation time and required memory are two limiting factors that hinder the scalability of the computations to very large sizes. We present a dual approach, based on the use of a combination of the central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs), to simulation of flow, transport, and similar problems using the network models. A mixed-precision algorithm, together with the conjugate-gradient method is implemented on a single GPU solver. The efficiency of the method is tested with a variety of cases, including pore- and random-resistor network models in which the conductances are long-range correlated, and also contain percolation disorder. Both isotropic and anisotropic networks are considered. To put the method to a stringent test, the long-range correlations are generated by a fractional Brownian motion (FBM), which we generate by a message-passing interface method. For all the cases studied an overall speed-up factor of about one order of magnitude or better is obtained, which increases with the size of the network. Even the critical slow-down in networks near the percolation threshold does not decrease the speed-up significantly. We also obtain approximate but accurate bounds for the permeability anisotropy Kx/Ky for stratified porous media.
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