Publications / Other Report

Summer Proceedings 2016: The Center for Computing Research at Sandia National Laboratories

Carleton, James B.; Parks, Michael L.

Solving sparse linear systems from the discretization of elliptic partial differential equations (PDEs) is an important building block in many engineering applications. Sparse direct solvers can solve general linear systems, but are usually slower and use much more memory than effective iterative solvers. To overcome these two disadvantages, a hierarchical solver (LoRaSp) based on H2-matrices was introduced in [22]. Here, we have developed a parallel version of the algorithm in LoRaSp to solve large sparse matrices on distributed memory machines. On a single processor, the factorization time of our parallel solver scales almost linearly with the problem size for three-dimensional problems, as opposed to the quadratic scalability of many existing sparse direct solvers. Moreover, our solver leads to almost constant numbers of iterations, when used as a preconditioner for Poisson problems. On more than one processor, our algorithm has significant speedups compared to sequential runs. With this parallel algorithm, we are able to solve large problems much faster than many existing packages as demonstrated by the numerical experiments.