A Software Library for Fluid Structure Interaction Problems Based on Variational Transfer Immersed Boundary Method

PI: Dominik Obrist (University of Bern)

Co-PIs: Rolf Krause (Università della Svizzera italiana)

July 1, 2014 - June 6, 2017

Project Summary

The project AV-FLOW aims at developing a software library for the Life Science domain science net-work. AV-FLOW is a numerical library for the solution of fluid-structure interaction problems using hybrid meshes (structured for the fluid and unstructured for the soft tissue). More specifically, this project will address the simulation of the hemodynamics of aortic heart valves which is a hot topic in the field of cardiovascular engineering. Despite this focus on one particular application, the resulting numerical library will be widely applicable for more general problems of biomedical research. This library will be written and optimized for new and emerging supercomputing infrastructure with hy-brid multi-core processors including accelerators such as GPUs. It responds directly to the need for efficient simulation tools for biomedical flow problems. For example, it will allow in-silico studies and testing of novel diagnostic and interventional methods in the fields of cardiology and cardiovascular surgery.

The proposed scientific approach is based on existing numerical models which deliver the proof-of-concept for the combination of a structured fluid solver with an unstructured soft tissue solver. Moreover, the fluid solver will be based on an existing piece of software that was co-developed by the PI. This fluid solver is a workhorse code on past and current supercomputing systems at CSCS. Parts of this project are therefore dedicated to refurbishing this solver for new and emerging hybrid supercomputing architectures to ensure the continued availability of this software at CSCS. A significant part of the actual development work is dedicated to the kernel optimization for hybrid multi-core processors and/or for accelerator-based architectures (e.g. with GPUs). This optimization work shall be done at a high level of abstraction in order to facilitate the portability of the developed software.

In order to ensure that this numerical library will be adopted by the domain science community (beyond those directly interested in heart valve hemodynamics) this project proposal describes a dissemination plan which goes past the end of the project. In addition to the classical means of dissemination by publications and conference presentations, the plan for dissemination includes the organization of two workshops aiming at increasing the project visibility in the domain science community, the definition of a public licensing scheme for the resulting software library, the establishment of a long-term support structure for the library and means to further educate to the domain science community in the usage of the library. The project team combines different skills including expertise in medicine and cardiovascular engineering, numerical modelling, software development and system architecture. The project team consists of a core team (PI, co-PI, three PhD students and a student assistant) and a number of scientific contributors from different fields which complete the required skill set. The core team and selected scientific contributors meet (at least) on a quarterly basis for overnight meetings alternatingly in Bern or Lugano. During these meetings, input from the side of the domain science (e.g. by a cardiologist from Bern) or updates on new hardware (e.g. by a systems specialist from CSCS) enhance the integration of domain scientists, computational scientists and software developers. In addition, the PhD students from the core team are expected to spend extended periods on-site at the partner location for periods of intense collaboration.