Current distribution cAlculations
Antenna design and simulations
RCS & Bi-RCS computations
Current distributions on metallic plates
Inverse scattering simulations
Radargrams of buried pipes
Experimental inverse scattering
What is ScaleME?
In one sentence: ScaleME is a programmable, portable, scalable,
application independent implementation of the electrodynamic/acoustic
Multilevel Fast Multipole Algorithm (MLFMA) for distributed memory
computers, using the Message Passing Interface (MPI).
The ScaleME project began in 1997 as an attempt at parallelizing
the MLFMA on distributed memory computers. The original plan was to
parallelize FISC, the fast
solver developed at the UofI. However, we realized that it was
"easier said than done" and as a result decided to write a
new MLFMA code from the scratch, such that it can be designed to suit
the message passing paradigm.
Since the fast multipole method is really an abstract
prescription of an algorithm
which is not tied to any specific application, we (Ah!) realized that
it could be implemented as a library of user callable functions in
the spirit of LAPACK. Such an implementation could be used as a
plug-in in various
applications. This abstraction, within the framework of method of
moments (MoM), turned out to be remarkably simple.
Thus, ScaleME is an
implementation of the abstract MLFMA. It is a library that can be
retrofitted into existing MoM codes with minimal modifications to the
MoM code. ScaleME provides a carefully designed interface, in the
form of subroutines, for its initialization and running. As a
consequence, it is one of the strengths of ScaleME that the user does
not require the source code to
use it. It is almost a black box. In other words, to use ScaleME, the
developer needs to have only a minimal understanding of the MLFMA and
parallel computing using MPI.
Who needs it?
ScaleME is useful for two categories
- Electrical engineers who
already have a MoM code for electromagnetic scattering/radiation
problems but which cannot handle large number of unknowns. For such
codes, ScaleME provides a sequential host interface which
facilitates a way to exploit the power of MLFMA
and parallel computers
with minor modifications to the original code. In this situation,
the iterative solver of the MoM code runs on one computer, but the
matrix vector products are computed using all the computers
available. Essentially, the user has to replace the calls to his
own routines for matrix vector
products with that provided by ScaleME. In order to do this, he has
to supply ScaleME with four subroutines which encapsulate the
physics of the problem. Detailed techniques for writing these
subroutines are described in the ScaleME
User's Guide. We have demonstrated that this could be done in a
few days time.
who are developing new electromagnetic solvers for parallel
computers. The scenario we have in mind is the following: there is a
MoM code which uses iterative methods on parallel computers. The
iterative solver itself is parallelized. For
this situation ScaleME provides the parallel host
which, interestingly, is somewhat
simpler than the sequential host version. This interface is
currently under beta testing and has not yet been released for
public use. Obviously, in order to exploit this, which provides
better performance, the MoM code has to be modified appropriately.
ScaleME: What it is not
There are several misconceptions
about ScaleME. Here I shall try to explain them.
- It is not an
electromagnetic MoM code:
ScaleME is not a solver. It does not have an EM code built into it.
It does not know anything about your integral
equation formulation or the discretisation used. In its philosophy,
it is very similar to that of LAPACK or BLAS.
- It is not a parallelized
matrix iterative solver: No,
ScaleME does not contain a parallelized version of iterative solvers
such as the CGNR or GMRES. The user has to find one for himself. The
reason for not not having one built into ScaleME is that we do not
want it to be tied to any specific solver.
- ScaleME is not FISC:
the fast Illinois solver code (FISC) has been around for a while and
has been a very well tested code, ScaleME is not
a parallelized version of FISC. It
is a completely new code written from scratch. All they have in
common is the underlying abstract fast multipole theory. Nothing
more and nothing less.
- ScaleME is not
under GPL: Although
ScaleME is a public domain code (restricted) it is not under the GNU
General Public Licence. Neither is it a free software.
- Kernels available:
dimensional Helmholtz, Three dimensional Helmholtz, Three
dimensional Laplace. All available through a
- Preconditioners: a
built in block diagonal preconditioner based on self-interaction
matrices of cells is available.
A powerful compression algorithm for reducing the
memory requirements of the translation matrices of three
dimensional Helmholtz MLFMA.
algorithms of arbitrary order.
- Support for scalar and vector Helmholtz equations. For
vector problems, both rectangular and spherical
components are supported.
- A powerful two stage initialization solves the geometric data
structure replication problem of host programs.
ScaleME has been tested over the
- Network of Sun Ultra workstations running Solaris.
- SGI Origin 2000, running IRIX 6.3
- Network of DEC Alpha workstations running OSF 3.2
- Linux clusters using AMD K6-2 processors and Slackware Linux.
Although we have not tested on other platforms, we do not anticipate
any serious problems in porting to other systems.
Achievements so far
- In a series of simulations conducted in May,
2001, ScaleME broke every known record in frequency domain computational electromagnetics.
It solved the largest problem ever tried
in the fastest possible manner. The simulation
involved about 10.2 million unknowns modeling a 400 wavelength long, full scale aircraft.
This was solved on 128 processors of an
SGI Origin 2000 supercomputer at NCSA. The
total solution time was about 7 and a half hours, beating the previous best of about 15 hours set by FISC (for slightly smaller problem) in 2000.
In computing matrix-vector products, ScaleME was more than eight times faster
than FISC, making the fastest implementation of MLFMA
ever reported. See the techreport.
- Further simulations also exploded another
myth about dynamic MLFMA: That it is not
scalable beyong 32 processors. ScaleME
that with proper parallelization methods,
the algorithm can be made scalable. Indeed,
we have results that show nearly 100% parallel
efficiency for number of processors as
as 64. More results are currently being
- In November-December 1999, dpTRIMOM, a highly sophisticated MoM code
(based on TRIMOM) solved a sequence of increasingly large scale
problems involving realistic targets such as full scale air crafts.
The largest being a full scale aircraft at 4GHz, having
nearly 4 million unknowns on an SGI Origin 2000.
- On December 31st, 1998, a ScaleME accelerated MoM code, based
on TRIMOM (developed by Lu, Song and Chew),
solved an electromagnetic scattering problem
involving 3.1 million unknowns, breaking the previous record of
2.4 million set by FISC in June 1997.
- We have
also been able to solve electromagnetic scattering problems
involving hundreds of thousands of unknowns, on a routine basis, on
a sub-$25,000 Linux cluster.
There are a couple of attempts to
extend the original MLFMA implementation in ScaleME to more general
cases. They are still in the research stage. Here are some
Hu and Weng Chew are developing a fast inhomogeneous plane wave
algorithm for multilayered structures. This work is not yet
- K. Donepudi and J. Jin have been able to use ScaleME in their
higher order MoM code which uses parametric elements. They are also
trying to extend it for multiple dielectric structures (see
Jiang and Jose Schutt-Aine are using the Laplace kernel of ScaleME
for their parameter extraction programs.
Papers and Research Reports
- Sanjay Velamparambil and Weng Cho Chew. Parallelization of multilevel fast multipole
algorithm on distributed memory computers.
Technical Report 13-01, Center for Computational
Electromagnetics, University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
- Sanjay Velamparambil and Weng Cho Chew. 10
million unknowns: Is it that large? Technical report, Center for Computational
Electromagnetics, 2001. (Under Preparation)
- Sanjay Velamparambil and Weng Cho Chew. Parallelization
of MLFMA on distributed memory computers.
In Roberto D. Graglia, editor, Proceedings of the International Conference
on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications
(ICEAA01), pages 141-144, September 10-14 2001. (Expanded
version under the review of "Parallel Computing")
Velamparambil and Weng Cho Chew. ScaleME: Application
interface; a programmer's guide and reference. Technical Report
CCEM-27-99, Center for Computational Electromagnetics, 1999.
Velamparambil, J. Song, W.C. Chew, and K. Gallivan.
ScaleME: A portable, scalable multipole engine for electromagnetic
and acoustic integral equation solvers. IEEE Antennas
Propagat. Symp., 3:1774-1777, 1998.
- S. V.
Velamparambil, J. E. Schutt-Aine, J. G. Nickel, J. M.
Song, and W. C. Chew. Solving large scale electromagnetic
problems using a linux cluster and parallel MLFMA. IEEE
Antennas Propagat. Symp., 1:636-639, July 1999.
- S. V.
Velamparambil, J. M. Song, and W. C. Chew. A Portable
Parallel Multilevel Fast Multipole Solver for Scattering from
Perfectly Conducting Bodies. IEEE Antennas Propagat. Symp.,
1:648-651, July 1999.
Velamparambil, Jiming Song, and Weng Cho Chew. On the
parallelization of dynamic multilevel fast multipole method on
distributed memory computers. Proc. International Workshop on
Innovative Architecture for Future Generation High-Performance
Processors and Systems, Maui, Hawaii, November 1999.
- Sanjay Velamparambil and Weng Cho Chew, An Improved
Parallelization Strategy for MLFMA on Distributed Memory Computers,
IEEE Antenas and Propagation Symposium, 2000
- Sanjay Velamparambil, Jiming
Song, and Weng Cho Chew. ScaleME: A Portable, Distributed
Memory Multilevel Fast Mulipole Kernel for Electromagnetic and
Acoustic Integral Equation Solvers. Technical Report CCEM-23-99,
Center for Computational Electromagnetics, Dept. of Electrical and
Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
Urbana, IL, 1999.
- Sanjay Velamparambil and
Weng Cho Chew. Fast Polynomial Representations for the Diagonal
Translation Operators of the Three Dimensional Helmholtz Equation.
Technical Report CCEM-17-99, Center for Computational
Electromagnetics, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, 1999.
S. Velamparambil is no longer associated with this work and its
various incarnations, Contact the first and second authors for more
details on this work.
Hu, Weng Cho Chew, and Sanjay Velamparambil. Fast inhomogeneous
plane wave algorithm (FIPWA) for the analysis of
electromagnetic scattering problems. (Submitted to Radio
K. C Donepudi, J. M. Jin, S Velamparambil, J. M. Song, and
W. C. Chew. A higher order parallelized multilevel fast
multipole algorithm for 3D scattering. Submitted to IEEE
Trans. Antennas and Propagation. (More recent versions of
this work can be found in IEEE APS 2000 Digest)