Particle Methods

  • Eric F. Van de Velde
Part of the Texts in Applied Mathematics book series (TAM, volume 16)


The motion of stars in the universe is determined by a gravitational field, which itself depends on the position and mass of all stars. We shall use this interesting astrophysical problem, called the N-body problem, to introduce particle methods. Algorithmically, these methods are substantially different from grid-oriented computations for two reasons. First, grid operators are short-range operators: they act only on neighboring grid points. Standard particle methods, on the other hand, feature long-range interactions: all particles interact with all other particles. Second, the load balance of multicomputer computations based on particle methods depends on computed values. This contrasts with grid-oriented computations, where the load balance depends only on the amount of data. From our experience with LU-decomposition, which is based on long-range operators and whose load balance is data-dependent through pivoting, we already know that data-distribution strategies play an important role for particle methods on multicomputers. However, as for grid-oriented computations, the data distribution is also tied to the geometry of the problem.


Load Balance Gravitational Field Particle Method Operation Count Neighbor Grid Point 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric F. Van de Velde
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Mathematics 217-50California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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