Parallel computation is becoming increasingly important for conducting conducting realistic earthquake simulations of structural and geotecnical systems. With the advent of multi-core processors it is rapidly becoming the only means available for users to harness the full performance of even their personal computers. The OpenSees framework can be used to generate parallel applications. For general users two such applications have been developed. The applications are extensions of the basic OpenSees interpreter used currently. These applications will allow users to run OpenSees scripts on parallel machines. These applications are:

  1. OpenSeesSP: For Performing analysis of very large models.
  2. OpenSeesMP: For Performing parameter studies or analysis of large models with user defined partitions

The applications are extensions of the basic OpenSees interpreter for sequential machines. Documentation descibing their use, additional commands, modified commands, and some examples is available here.

Additional information on the applocations can be found in presentations given at the OpenSees Parallel Workshop.

These two applications are available on a number of the NSF sponsored Teragrid machines. The following table contains the machine information and application location. Users are required to request their own allocations through Teragrid or the supercomputing sites themselves for making use of these applications.

Teragrid Machine File Location
SDSC Datastar
SDSC IA-64 Cluster
TACC Lonestar
TACC Ranger

These applications will SOON be available to NEES registered users through the NEES portal. SimPortal is a prtlet under active development for submitting OpenSees jobs to NSF sponsored Teragrid machines. Prebuilt binaries are available for multi-core or clustered intel machines running Microsoft or Apple (10.4.x) operating systems can be found here. To run these applications other software is required. This software, MPICH2 on Microsoft and OpenMPI on Apple, are available as binaries and need to be installed. The OpenSees executables, OpenSeesSP and OpenSeesMP, can be downloaded by following this link. We keep track of downloads. To run these applications use:

mpiexec -np numProcs? applicationName? inputFile?

where mpiexec is an MPICH2 or OpenMPI application, numProcs is the number of processors on your machine that you wish to use, applicationName is either OpenSeesSP or OpenSeesMP, and inputFile is the tcl script. These applications are new. They have been checked and validated against the limited number of example scripts that we have to test them with. Users will in no doubt come across the bugs we missed! Remember the software is free and open-source. You are in effect our testers, and we encourage you to report all problems.