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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The effect of FPU architecture on a dynamic precision algorithm for the solution of differential equations

  • Author(s): Kramer, David
  • Scherson, Isaac D.
  • et al.

Solution of lnitial Value Problems (IVPs) is an important application in scientific computing. Methods for solving these problems use techniques for reducing the error and increasing the speed of the computation. This paper introduces a class of algorithms which dynamically reconfigure their operating parameters to reduce the computation time. By dynamically varying the precision of the arithmetic being performed, it is possible to obtain dramatic speedups on certain architectures when solving IVPs. This paper illustrates how various architectures impact on a dynamic precision version of the Runge-Kutta-Fehlberg algorithm. It is shown that a speedup of over 30 percent is possible for both massively parallel processors and vector supercomputers.

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