[SciPy-user] Parallel linear solver.

Frank Lagor dfranci@seas.upenn....
Thu Jul 24 11:06:38 CDT 2008

Hi Nils,

Typically users come to find PETSc when they need it-- that is if they are
doing a lot of scientific computations and parallel processing is therefore
definitely needed. For me, I had access to a small 64 processor cluster and
sequential codes that would take days to run, so it was a natural fit.  I
could definitely see it being used  in smaller settings (and I'm sure many
people do), like on a desktop machine with a few processors, but that is not
what I use it for.  I'm not sure about your needs or your access to a
cluster, so you'll can probably be the best judge of if it is for you.

For software requirements-- PETSc uses BLAS, LAPACK, and an MPI distribution
as a mimimum.
 It can also interface with countless other packages (e.g. SCALAPACK, ATLAS,
SPRNG, etc.), but I don't bother with all this.  For me, there was an
OpenMPI implementation of MPI already installed on my cluster (as should be
the case for most clusters), so I just linked to it.  And the BLAS and
LAPACK on the cluster were not working currently, so I told PETSc to
download and install BLAS and LAPACK automatically.  It did and it works
fine. Anyways, that's my story-- I hope it helps.


On Thu, Jul 24, 2008 at 11:48 AM, Nils Wagner <nwagner@iam.uni-stuttgart.de>

> On Thu, 24 Jul 2008 11:31:53 -0400
>   "Frank Lagor" <dfranci@seas.upenn.edu> wrote:
> > Yes, there will be a new release of PETSc soon (I just
> >asked one fo the
> > developers), but they don't know exactly how long it
> >will be. The  2.3.3
> > release of PETSc is still current.  They use patches for
> >a lot of their
> > small changes.  For example, just a two months ago or
> >so, I downloaded a
> > version that was 2.3.3-p8.  The current patched version
> >is 2.3.3-p13.  It is
> > still very active, and in my opinion, major releases are
> >not a good thing,
> > because it may end up affecting your code.  Actually, I
> >think this is
> > probably why you asked (so you could wait until a new
> >release so you
> > wouldn't have to worry about code changes for a while).
> >
> > Hope this help,
> >Frank
> >
> Fank,
> Thank you very much for your prompt. So far I have used
> serial programs solely.
> How do I benefit from parallel code in python ?
> I mean what are the minimal requirements to run codes in
> parallel (hardware/software) ?
> What software packages are needed to configure petsc in
> that context ?
> Nils
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Frank Lagor
Ph.D. Candidate
Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
University of Pennsylvania
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