Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Computer Science


The modeling of physical phenomena in computational fracture mechanics, computational fluid dynamics and other fields is based on solving systems of partial differential equations (PDEs). When PDEs are defined over geometrically complex domains, they often do not admit closed form solutions. In such cases, they are solved approximately using discretizations of domains into simple elements like triangles and quadrilaterals in two dimensions (2D), and tetrahedra and hexahedra in three dimensions (3D). These discretizations are called finite element meshes. Many applications, for example, real-time computer assisted surgery, or crack propagation from fracture mechanics, impose time and/or mesh size constraints that cannot be met on a single sequential machine. as a result, the development of parallel mesh generation algorithms is required.;In this dissertation, we describe a complete solution for both sequential and parallel construction of guaranteed quality Delaunay meshes for 2D and 3D geometries. First, we generalize the existing 2D and 3D Delaunay refinement algorithms along with theoretical proofs of mesh quality in terms of element shape and mesh gradation. Existing algorithms are constrained by just one or two specific positions for the insertion of a Steiner point inside a circumscribed disk of a poorly shaped element. We derive an entire 2D or 3D region for the selection of a Steiner point (i.e., infinitely many choices) inside the circumscribed disk. Second, we develop a novel theory which extends both the 2D and the 3D Generalized Delaunay Refinement methods for the concurrent and mathematically guaranteed independent insertion of Steiner points. Previous parallel algorithms are either reactive relying on implementation heuristics to resolve dependencies in parallel mesh generation computations or require the solution of a very difficult geometric optimization problem (the domain decomposition problem) which is still open for general 3D geometries. Our theory solves both of these drawbacks. Third, using our generalization of both the sequential and the parallel algorithms we implemented prototypes of practical and efficient parallel generalized guaranteed quality Delaunay refinement codes for both 2D and 3D geometries using existing state-of-the-art sequential codes for traditional Delaunay refinement methods. On a heterogeneous cluster of more than 100 processors our implementation can generate a uniform mesh with about a billion elements in less than 5 minutes. Even on a workstation with a few cores, we achieve a significant performance improvement over the corresponding state-of-the-art sequential 3D code, for graded meshes.



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