Infoscience

Thesis

Parallel Algorithms for the Solution of Large-Scale Fluid-Structure Interaction Problems in Hemodynamics

This thesis addresses the development and implementation of efficient and parallel algorithms for the numerical simulation of Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI) problems in hemodynamics. Indeed, hemodynamic conditions in large arteries are significantly affected by the interaction of the pulsatile blood flow with the arterial wall. The simulation of fluid-structure interaction problems requires the approximation of a coupled system of Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) and the set up of efficient numerical solution strategies. Blood is modeled as an incompressible Newtonian fluid whose dynamics is governed by the Navier-Stokes equations. Different constituive models are used to describe the mechanical response of the arterial wall; specifically, we rely on hyperelastic isotropic and anistotropic material laws. The finite element method is used for the space discretization of both the fluid and structure problems. In particular, for the Navier-Stokes equations we consider a semi-discrete formulation based on the Variational Multiscale (VMS) method. Among a wide range of possible solution strategies for the FSI problem, here we focus on strongly coupled monolithic approaches wherein the nonlinearities are treated in a fully implicit mode. To cope with the high computational complexity of the three dimensional FSI problem, a parallel solution framework is often mandatory. To this end, we develop a new block parallel preconditioner for the coupled linearized FSI system obtained after space and time discretization. The proposed preconditioner, named FaCSI, exploits the factorized form of the FSI Jacobian matrix, the use of static condensation to formally eliminate the interface degrees of freedom of the fluid equations, and the use of a SIMPLE preconditioner for unsteady Navier-Stokes equations. In FSI problems, the different resolution requirements in the fluid and structure physical domains, as well as the presence of complex interface geometries make the use of matching fluid and structure meshes problematic. In such situations, it is much simpler to deal with discretizations that are nonconforming at the interface, provided however that the matching conditions at the interface are properly fulfilled. In this thesis we develop a novel interpolation-based method, named INTERNODES, for numerically solving partial differential equations by Galerkin methods on computational domains that are split into two (or several) subdomains featuring nonconforming interfaces. By this we mean that either a priori independent grids and/or local polynomial degrees are used to discretize each subdomain. INTERNODES can be regarded as an alternative to the mortar element method: it combines the accuracy of the latter with the easiness of implementation in a numerical code. The aforementioned techniques have been applied for the numerical simulation of large-scale fluid-structure interaction problems in the context of biomechanics. The parallel algorithms developed showed scalability up to thousands of cores utilized on high performance computing machines.

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