GPU-based matrix-free finite element solver exploiting symmetry of elemental matrices

Utpal Kiran, Sachin Singh Gautam, Deepak Sharma
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam 781039, India
Computing, 2020


   title={GPU-based matrix-free finite element solver exploiting symmetry of elemental matrices},

   author={Kiran, Utpal and Gautam, Sachin Singh and Sharma, Deepak},






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Matrix-free solvers for finite element method (FEM) avoid assembly of elemental matrices and replace sparse matrix-vector multiplication required in iterative solution method by an element level dense matrix-vector product. In this paper, a novel matrix-free strategy for FEM is proposed which computes element level matrix-vector product by using only the symmetric part of the elemental matrices. The proposed strategy is developed to take advantage of the massive parallelism of Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). A unique data structure is also introduced which ensures localized and coalesced memory access suitable for a GPU while storing only the symmetric part of the elemental matrices. In addition, the proposed strategy emphasizes the efficient use of register cache, uniform workload distribution, reducing thread synchronization, and maintaining sufficient granularity to make the best use of GPU resources. The performance of the proposed strategy is evaluated by solving elasticity and heat conduction problems using 4-noded quadrilateral element with two degrees of freedom (DOFs) and one DOF per node, respectively. The performance is compared with the matrix-free solver strategies on GPU from the literature. It is found that a maximum speedup of 4.9x is obtained for the elasticity problem and a maximum of 3.2x speedup for the heat conduction problem. Further, the proposed strategy takes the least amount of GPU memory as compared to the existing strategies.
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