OpenFPM: A scalable open framework for particle and particle-mesh codes on parallel computers
Scalable and efficient numerical simulations continue to gain importance, as computation is firmly established as the third pillar of discovery, alongside theory and experiment. Meanwhile, the performance of computing hardware grows through increasingly heterogeneous parallelism, enabling simulations of ever more complex models. However, efficiently implementing scalable codes on heterogeneous, distributed hardware systems becomes the bottleneck. This bottleneck can be alleviated by intermediate software layers that provide higher-level abstractions closer to the problem domain, reducing development times and allowing computational scientists to focus. Here, we present OpenFPM, an open and scalable framework that provides an abstraction layer for numerical simulations using particles and/or meshes. OpenFPM provides transparent and scalable infrastructure for shared-memory and distributed-memory implementations of particles-only and hybrid particle-mesh simulations of both discrete and continuous models, as well as non-simulation codes. This infrastructure is complemented with frequently used numerical routines, as well as interfaces to third-party libraries. We present the architecture and design of OpenFPM, detail the underlying abstractions, and benchmark the framework in applications ranging from Smoothed-Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) to Molecular Dynamics (MD), Discrete Element Methods (DEM), Vortex Methods, stencil codes (finite differences), and high-dimensional Monte Carlo sampling (CMA-ES), comparing it to the current state of the art and to existing software frameworks.