Vlasov on GPU (VOG Project)

M. Mehrenberger, C. Steiner, L. Marradi, N. Crouseilles, E. Sonnendrucker, B. Afeyan
IRMA, Universite de Strasbourg, 7, rue Rene Descartes, F-67084 Strasbourg & INRIA-Nancy Grand-Est, projet CALVI
arXiv:1301.5892 [physics.plasm-ph], (24 Jan 2013)


   author={Mehrenberger}, M. and {Steiner}, C. and {Marradi}, L. and {Crouseilles}, N. and {Sonnendrucker}, E. and {Afeyan}, B.},

   title={"{Vlasov on GPU (VOG Project)}"},

   journal={ArXiv e-prints},




   keywords={Physics – Plasma Physics, Physics – Computational Physics},




   adsnote={Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System}


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This work concerns the numerical simulation of the Vlasov-Poisson set of equations using semi- Lagrangian methods on Graphical Processing Units (GPU). To accomplish this goal, modifications to traditional methods had to be implemented. First and foremost, a reformulation of semi-Lagrangian methods is performed, which enables us to rewrite the governing equations as a circulant matrix operating on the vector of unknowns. This product calculation can be performed efficiently using FFT routines. Second, to overcome the limitation of single precision inherent in GPU, a {delta}f type method is adopted which only needs refinement in specialized areas of phase space but not throughout. Thus, a GPU Vlasov-Poisson solver can indeed perform high precision simulations (since it uses very high order reconstruction methods and a large number of grid points in phase space). We show results for rather academic test cases on Landau damping and also for physically relevant phenomena such as the bump on tail instability and the simulation of Kinetic Electrostatic Electron Nonlinear (KEEN) waves.
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