Parallel Mesh Partitioning on Distributed Memory Systems

C. Walshaw and M. Cross


We discuss the problem of deriving parallel mesh partitioning algorithms for mapping unstructured meshes to parallel computers. In itself this raises a paradox - we seek to find a high quality partition of the mesh, but to compute it in parallel we require a partition of the mesh. In fact, we overcome this difficulty by deriving an optimisation strategy which can find a high quality partition even if the quality of the initial partition is very poor and then use a crude distribution scheme for the initial partition. The basis of this strategy is to use a multilevel approach combined with local refinement algorithms. Three such refinement algorithms are outlined and some example results presented which show that they can produce very high global quality partitions, very rapidly. The results are also compared with a similar multilevel serial partitioner and shown to be almost identical in quality. Finally we consider the impact of the initial partition on the results and demonstrate that the final partition quality is, modulo a certain amount of noise, independent of the initial partition.

Key words. graph partitioning, mesh partitioning, load-balancing, multilevel algorithms.

Fri Aug 13 13:40:25 BST 2004