Computing That Serves

Adaptive Fluid Simulation Using a Linear Octree Structure

Sean Flynn
MS Defense/PhD Qualifying Process

Thursday, May 17, 2:00 PM
3350 TMCB
Advisor: Parris Egbert


An Eulerian approach to fluid flow provides an efficient, stable paradigm for realistic fluid simulation. However, its traditional reliance on a fixed-resolution grid is not ideal for simulations that simultaneously exhibit both large and small-scale fluid phenomena. Octree-based fluid simulation approaches have provided the needed adaptivity, but the inherent weakness of a pointer-based tree structure has limited their effectiveness. We present a linear octree structure that provides a significant runtime speedup using these octree-based simulation algorithms. As memory prices continue to decline, we leverage additional memory when compared to traditional octree structures to provide this improvement. In addition to reducing the level of indirection in the data, because our linear octree is stored contiguously in memory as a simple C array rather than a recursive set of pointers, we provide a more cache-friendly data layout than a traditional octree. In our testing, our approach yielded run-times that were 1.5 to nearly 5 times faster than the same simulations running on a traditional octree implementation.