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Journal of Inforamtion Science and Engineering, Vol.17 No.4, pp.595-614 (July 2001)

UMPAL: An Unstructured Mesh Partitioner and Load
Balancer on World Wide Web


William C. Chu*, Don-Lin Yang, Jen-Chih Yu
and Yeh-Ching chung

Department of Computer and Information Science
TungHai Unviersity
Taichung, Taiwan 407, R.O.C.
E-mail: chu@cis.thu.edu.tw
Department of Information Engineering
Feng Chia University
Taichung, Taiwan 407, R.O.C.
E-mail: {jcyu, dlyang, ychung}@iecs.fcu.edu.tw

The finite element method (FEM) has been widely used for the structural modeling of physical systems. Due to computation-intensiveness and computation-locality, it is attractive to implement the finite element method on distributed memory multicomputers. Many research efforts have already provided solid algorithms for mesh partitioning and load balancing. However, without proper support, mesh partitioning and load balancing are labor intensive and tedious. In this paper, we present an unstructured mesh partitioner and load balancer (UMPAL) on World Wide Web (WWW). UMPAL is an integrated tool that consists of five components, a partitioner, a load balancer, a simulator, a visualization tool, and a Web interface. In the partitioner, three partitioning methods, Jostle/DDM, Metis/DDM, and Party/DDM are provided. The load balancer provides two load-balancing methods, prefix code matching parallel load-balancing and binomial tree based parallel load-balancing. The simulator provides a performance simulation environment for a partitioned mesh. By inputting parameters of a target distributed memory multicomputer, one can get the execution result of a partitioned mesh from the simulator. The visualization tool provides a way for users to view a partitioned mesh. The Web interface provides a mean for users to use UMPAL via the Internet and integrates the other four parts. Through the Web interface, other four components can be operated independently or together. Additionally, UMPAL provides several demonstrations and their corresponding mesh models that allow beginners to download and experiment. The UMPAL is designed with ease of use, efficiency, and transparency in mind. The experimental results show the property being practical and usefulness of our UMPAL.

Keywords: World Wide Web, partitioner, load balancer, unstructured mesh, Internet

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Received September 14, 1999; revised May 25, 2000; accepted June 27, 2000.
Communicated by Gen-Huey Chen.