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Speeding Up Finite Element Wave Propagation for Large-Scale Earthquake Simulations

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Executive Summary

This paper describes the implementation and performance of a new approach to finite element earthquake simulations that represents a speedup factor of 3x in the total solving time employed by Hercules - the ochre-based earthquake simulator developed by the Quake Group at Carnegie Mellon University. This gain derives from applying an efficient method for computing the stiffness contribution at the core of the solving algorithm for the discretized equations of motion. This efficient method is about 5 times faster than the previous conventional implementation. The authors evaluate the performance and scalability of the new implementation through numerical experiments with the 2008 Chino Hills earthquake under various problem sizes and resource conditions on up to 98K CPU cores, obtaining excellent results.

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