Multilevel balancing domain decomposition at extreme scales

Santiago Badia, Alberto F. Martín, Javier Principe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we present a fully distributed, communicator-aware, recursive, and interlevel-overlapped message-passing implementation of the multilevel balancing domain decomposition by constraints (MLBDDC) preconditioner. The implementation highly relies on subcommunicators in order to achieve the desired effect of coarse-grain overlapping of computation and communication, and communication and communication among levels in the hierarchy (namely, interlevel overlapping). Essentially, the main communicator is split into as many nonoverlapping subsets of message-passing interface (MPI) tasks (i.e., MPI subcommunicators) as levels in the hierarchy. Provided that specialized resources (cores and memory) are devoted to each level, a careful rescheduling and mapping of all the computations and communications in the algorithm lets a high degree of overlapping be exploited among levels. All subroutines and associated data structures are expressed recursively, and therefore MLBDDC preconditioners with an arbitrary number of levels can be built while re-using significant and recurrent parts of the codes. This approach leads to excellent weak scalability results as soon as level-1 tasks can fully overlap coarser-levels duties. We provide a model to indicate how to choose the number of levels and coarsening ratios between consecutive levels and determine qualitatively the scalability limits for a given choice. We have carried out a comprehensive weak scalability analysis of the proposed implementation for the three-dimensional Laplacian and linear elasticity problems on structured and unstructured meshes. Excellent weak scalability results have been obtained up to 458,752 IBM BG/Q cores and 1.8 million MPI being, being the first time that exact domain decomposition preconditioners (only based on sparse direct solvers) reach these scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C22-C52
JournalSIAM Journal on Scientific Computing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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