Parallel integration of planetary systems on GPUs

Jianwei Gao, Eric B. Ford, Jörg Peters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Direct numerical simulations of large numbers of planetary systems are key to the study extrasolar planetary systems. We investigate the potential of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) to dramatically accelerate such calculations and enable new types of analyses. Here we report on a CUDA implementation of two different integrators, Verlet and Bulirsch-Stoer; that is, we are contrasting the relative efficiency of a low-memory-footprint, small-time-steps integrator with a more complex but highly stable integrator for best use of GPU resources. We verify that GPUs can serve as highly efficient dedicated parallel computing co-processors of the CPU host: the wall-clock time of integrating a large number of systems is reduced by two orders of magnitude compared to a comparable implementation we used so far on a modern CPU. We verify further that it is not only possible to port a complex integration algorithm like Bulirsch-Stoer to the restrictive GPU environment but that it can outperform the simpler Verlet integrator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 46th Annual Southeast Regional Conference on XX, ACM-SE 46
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Event46th Annual Southeast Regional Conference on XX, ACM-SE 46 - Auburn, AL, United States
Duration: Mar 28 2009Mar 29 2009


Other46th Annual Southeast Regional Conference on XX, ACM-SE 46
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAuburn, AL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software


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