Lattice Boltzmann simulation
I am conscious of being only an individual struggling weakly against the stream of time. But it still remains in my power to contribute in such a way that, when the theory of gases is revived, not too much will have to be rediscovered
-- [Ludwid Boltzmann (*1844 in Wien, ✟ in Duino bei Triest)]
Inspired by the original work of Daniel V. Schroeder.
The Lattice Boltzmann is a simple and relatively young method of Computational fluid dynamics. In contrast to traditional computational fluid dynamics based on the conservation of macroscopic quantities (mass, momentum, and energy), LBM models the fluid by the kinetics of particles that propagate and collide on a discrete lattice mesh. Due to this contrast, LBM has several interesting advantages for the studying of digital computing, such as ease of dealing with complex boundaries and parallelization of the algorithm.. The following figure shows how fluid "particles" can be presented as a discrete model, making it effortless to write straight-forward modelling code.
This project aims to exploit the easy-to-parallelize property of the algorithm to accelerate the propagating, colliding and bouncing steps, where growth of mesh has quadratical effect on growth of program running time. With a graphic card on our side, running LBM on a high resolution
1000x1000 mesh at
60FPS is very achievable, which otherwise would be nearly impossible with even the most powerful CPU.
For a maximal parallel performance, the simulation's variables have to be duplicated after each iteration, since the propagating and colliding steps are locally dependent (meaning, each lattice site's next state is dependent on its neighbors). However this sacrifice of memory allows the GPU to assign one independent thread for each lattice's site without worrying about data synchronisation, hence tremendously enhancing throughput.
For boundary conditions the pragmantic bounding back method was chosen for its simplicity, and also because we really only want to have our fun crunching every last computation power out of the graphic card without worrying too much about other technical detail. Additionally, a small Mach number of
0.1 empirically shows to achieve a satisfactory compromise between visual effect and computation speed.
For visualization, all considered macroscopic and microscopic variables of the mesh can be taken for pixel color assignment. Some of thoses are: density, flow's curl, horizontal/vertical velocity, speed.
The streaming process can be seen as a entry/exit turbine model, where water comes from left to right.
LBM makes it easier to deal with complex boundaries (like this cute cow)
Swimming circles with smaller Mach number
Some self-made structures with various geometric shapes
Build the software
This software was tested on:
- Linux Ubuntu 20.10
- NVIDIA 460.39 with CUDA 11.2 for computing purpose.
- OpenGL 4.6.0 for rendering purpose.
sudo apt-get install libsfml-dev -y
git clone https://github.com/longmakesstuff/Lattice-Boltzmann.git
cd Lattice-Boltzmann mkdir build cd build cmake .. make -j24
As alternative we can get CLion and let the IDE does the heavy lifting.
Lattice Boltzmann Simulation Usage: ./bin/boltzmann [OPTIONS] Options: -h,--help Print this help message and exit -r,--recording Record mode on. Default false. If this flag is true, left mouse click on the window is needed to start the simulation. -f,--freaky Freaky colors on. Default false. If this flag is true, non-traditional colors will be used, else traditional colors. -b,--barrier TEXT Path to png/jpeg/jpg images to import self-made barrier mask file. Darker areas of the image (average RGB less than 100) will be detected as barrier. -x,--width UINT Width of the application. (Default 1000). -y,--height UINT Height of the application. (Default 1000). Should be at most 1000. -v,--verbose Verbosity for benchmarking. Default false.
Keyboard shortcuts in application
0 - Display flow's curl (default) 1 - Display flow's speed 2 - Display horizontal velocity 3 - Display vertical velocity 4 - Display probability density + - More contrast - - Fewer contrast UP - Greater omega (read the PDF to know what omega does) DOWN - Less omega (read the PDF to know what omega does) RIGHT MOUSE - Switch between tradition colors and non-traditional colors
Some notes and thoughts on the implementation
- Initially the project was planned to run on an Android phone. But it turned out a mobile phone would not have enough computation power to run the simulation on high resolution (even with ARM Neon acceleration). So I pivoted, learned some basic CUDA and turned to a desktop application.
- The original implementation of professor Daniel Schroeder  was column-major, which is kind of weird (maybe I overseen some details?). The current implementation was made row-major.
- The implementation sometimes suffers on some numerical instability problems, which I fail to fix.
- Even when OpenGL is quite awesome and low level, I would not want to use this library in the future anymore. At least not in combination with SFML.
- The CUDA scheduling is currently done not that effectively, hence height of the application can not be larger than 1024.
 https://physics.weber.edu/schroeder/javacourse/LatticeBoltzmann.pdf (2012). Professor Daniel V. Schroeder - Course Physics 3300 - Weber State University.
 https://www-m2.ma.tum.de/bin/view/Allgemeines/MA5344SS17 (2011). Lattice Boltzmann methods MA5344 - Technical University München.
 http://physics.weber.edu/schroeder/fluids/LatticeBoltzmannDemo.java.txt (2012). Professor Daniel V. Schroeder - Course Physics 3300 - Weber State University.