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Institute for Advanced Simulation (IAS)

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Rigid Body Physics Engine

Scientific area

Rigid body dynamics, coupled fluid-particle simulations, efficient inter process protocols.

Short description

The pe is a rigid body simulation framework developed at the chair for system simulation. It is part of the waLBerla multi physics software package. It simulates the time evolution of an ensemble of non deformable geometrical objects. Therefore it uses a time stepping scheme with a fixed time step size. The objects can interact with each other through collisions. Currently there are two collision models available. The collision model used for soft contacts is the well known discrete element method. Whereas for hard contacts the hard contact semi implicit time stepping solver is employed. Furthermore different friction models are available. A typical time step of the pe looks like this: broad phase collision detection ⟶ narrow phase collision detection and contact generation ⟶ contact resolution ⟶ time integration ⟶ synchronization.

peMarble run simulated with the pe.


  • 458,752 cores (up to 1,835,008 MPI ranks) on BlueGene/Q (JUQUEEN)

Scaling of pe on JUQUEENWeak- and strong-scaling results for a dense setup.

Programming language and model

  • C++
  • MPI

Tested on platforms

  • BlueGene/Q

Application developers and contributors

Sebastian Eibl
Tobias Preclik
Klaus Iglberger


Sebastian Eibl

(Text and images provided by the developers)