Project Team Magique-3d

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Section: Scientific Foundations

High Performance methods for solving wave equations

A tremendous increase of the sustained power of supercomputers has occurred in the last few years, in particular with the first `petaflops' machines that have been built in the USA and also with new technology such as general-purpose computing on graphics cards (so-called `GPU computing'). Nowadays, one has access to powerful numerical methods that, when implemented on supercomputers, make it possible to simulate both forward and inverse seismic wave propagation problems in complex three-dimensional (3D) structures. Moreover, very spectacular progress in computer science and supercomputer technology is amplified by recent advances in High Performing Computing (HPC) both from a software and hardware point of view. One can in this respect say that HPC should make it possible in the near future to perform large-scale calculations and inversion of geophysical data for models and distributed data volumes with a resolution impossible to reach in the past. Our group has for instance already run simulations in parallel on 150,000 processor core, obtaining an excellent sustained performance level and almost perfect performance scaling [50] .

We will therefore work on three HPC issues in the next few years. The first will be very large scale inversion of seismic model based on sensitivity kernels. In the context of a collaboration with TOTAL and also with Prof. Jeroen Tromp at Princeton University (USA), we will use adjoint simulations and sensitivity kernels to solve very-large scale inverse problems for seismology and for oil industry models, for instance deep offshore regions and/or complex foothills regions or sedimentary basins. The second issue is Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) computing: in the context of a collaboration with Prof. Gordon Erlebacher (Florida State University, USA) and Dr. Dominik Göddeke (Technical University of Dortmund, Germany) we have modified our existing seismic wave propagation software packages to port them to GPU computing in order to reach speedup factors of about 20x to 30x on GPU clusters (for instance at GENCI/CEA CCRT in Bruyères-le-Châtel, France). The third issue is porting our software packages to Symmetric Multi Processors (SMP) massive multicore computing to take advantage of future processors, which will have a large number of cores on petaflops or exaflops machine. In the context of a collaboration with Prof. Jesús Labarta and Prof. Rosa Badia from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (Catalonia, Spain) we will use their 'StarSs' programming environment to take advantage of multicore architectures while keeping a flexible software package relatively simple to modify for geophysicists that may not be computer-programming experts.