Recursive spectral algorithms for automatic domain partitioning in parallel finite element analysis

Shang Hsien Hsieh, Glaucio H. Paulino, John F. Abel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Recently, several domain partitioning algorithms have been proposed to effect load-balancing among processors in parallel finite element analysis. The recursive spectral bisection (RSB) algorithm [1] has been shown to be effective. However, the bisection nature of the RSB results in partitions of an integer power of two, which is too restrictive for computing environments consisting of an arbitrary number of processors. This paper presents two recursive spectral partitioning algorithms, both of which generalize the RSB algorithm for an arbitrary number of partitions. These algorithms are based on a graph partitioning approach which includes spectral techniques and graph representation of finite element meshes. The 'algebraic connectivity vector' is introduced as a parameter to assess the quality of the partitioning results. Both node-based and element-based partitioning strategies are discussed. The spectral algorithms are also evaluated and compared for coarse-grained partitioning using different types of structures modelled by 1-D, 2-D and 3-D finite elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-162
Number of pages26
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Mar 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications


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