IMPROVING COMPUTATIONAL EFFICIENCY OF MONTE-CARLO SIMULATIONS WITH VARIANCE REDUCTION

IMPROVING COMPUTATIONAL EFFICIENCY OF MONTE-CARLO SIMULATIONS WITH VARIANCE REDUCTION

IMPROVING COMPUTATIONAL EFFICIENCY OF MONTE-CARLO SIMULATIONS WITH VARIANCE REDUCTION 150 150 Mathew

IMPROVING COMPUTATIONAL EFFICIENCY OF MONTE-CARLO SIMULATIONS WITH VARIANCE REDUCTION

CCFE perform Monte-Carlo transport simulations on large and complex tokamak models such as ITER. Such simulations are challenging since streaming and deep penetration effects are equally important. In order to make such simulations tractable, both variance reduction (VR) techniques and parallel computing are used. It has been found that the application of VR techniques in such models significantly reduces the efficiency of parallel computation due to ‘long histories’. VR in MCNP can be accomplished using energy-dependent weight windows. The weight window represents an ‘average behaviour’ of particles, and large deviations in the arriving weight of a particle give rise to extreme amounts of splitting being performed and a long history. When running on parallel clusters, a long history can have a detrimental effect on the parallel efficiency – if one process is computing the long history, the other CPUs complete their batch of histories and wait idle. Furthermore some long histories have been found to be effectively intractable. To combat this effect, CCFE has developed an adaptation of MCNP which dynamically adjusts the WW where a large weight deviation is encountered. The method effectively ‘de-optimises’ the WW, reducing the VR performance but this is offset by a significant increase in parallel efficiency. Testing with a simple geometry has shown the method does not bias the result. This ‘long history method’ has enabled CCFE to significantly improve the performance of MCNP calculations for ITER on parallel clusters, and will be beneficial for any geometry combining streaming and deep penetration effects.

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04/10/2013