Simulating Lattice Spin Models on Graphics Processing Units

Tal Levy, Guy Cohen, Eran Rabani
School of Chemistry, The Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, Vol. 6, No. 11. (9 November 2010), pp. 3293-3301


   title={Simulating Lattice Spin Models on Graphics Processing Units},

   author={Levy, T. and Cohen, G. and Rabani, E.},

   journal={Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation},



   publisher={ACS Publications}


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Lattice spin models are useful for studying critical phenomena and allow the extraction of equilibrium and dynamical properties. Simulations of such systems are usually based on Monte Carlo (MC) techniques, and the main difficulty is often the large computational effort needed when approaching critical points. In this work, it is shown how such simulations can be accelerated with the use of NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs) using the CUDA programming architecture. We have developed two different algorithms for lattice spin models, the first useful for equilibrium properties near a second-order phase transition point and the second for dynamical slowing down near a glass transition. The algorithms are based on parallel MC techniques, and speedups from 70- to 150-fold over conventional single-threaded computer codes are obtained using consumer-grade hardware.
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