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High-Performance Material Point Method (CB-Geo mpm)

CB-Geo Computational Geomechanics Research Group

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Please refer to CB-Geo MPM Documentation for information on compiling, and running the code. The documentation also include the MPM theory.

If you have any issues running or compiling the MPM code please open a issue on the CB-Geo Discourse forum.

Running code on Docker

Running code locally

Prerequisite packages

The following prerequisite packages can be found in the docker image:


Fedora installation (recommended)

Please run the following command:

dnf install -y boost boost-devel clang clang-analyzer clang-tools-extra cmake cppcheck dnf-plugins-core \
                   eigen3-devel findutils freeglut freeglut-devel gcc gcc-c++ git hdf5 hdf5-devel \
                   kernel-devel lcov libnsl make ninja-build openmpi openmpi-devel tar \
                   valgrind vim vtk vtk-devel wget

Ubuntu installation

Please run the following commands to install dependencies:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install -y gcc git libboost-all-dev libeigen3-dev libhdf5-serial-dev libopenmpi-dev libomp-dev

If you are running Ubuntu 18.04 or below, you may want to update the GCC version to 9 to have OpenMP 5 specifications support.

sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
sudo apt install gcc-9 g++-9
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-9 90 --slave /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-9 --slave /usr/bin/gcov gcov /usr/bin/gcov-9

To install other dependencies:

CMake 3.15

sudo apt-add-repository 'deb bionic main'
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

OpenGL and X11:Xt

sudo apt-get install freeglut3-dev libxt-dev


git clone VTK
cd VTK && mkdir build && cd build/
make -j
sudo make install

Partio for Houdini SFX Visualization

mkdir -p ~/workspace && cd ~/workspace/ && git clone && \
    cd partio && cmake . && make

Houdini supported (*.bgeo) files will be generated. These can be rendered using the non-commercial Houdini Apprentice.

KaHIP installation for domain decomposition

cd ~/workspace/ && git clone && \
   cd KaHIP && sh ./


See CB-Geo MPM Documentation for more detailed instructions.

  1. Run mkdir build && cd build && cmake -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=g++ ...

  2. Run make clean && make -jN (where N is the number of cores).

To compile without KaHIP partitioning use cmake -DNO_KAHIP=True ..

Compile mpm or mpmtest

  • To compile either mpm or mpmtest alone, run make mpm -jN or make mpmtest -jN (where N is the number of cores).

Compile without tests [Editing CMake options]

To compile without tests run: mkdir build && cd build && cmake -DMPM_BUILD_TESTING=Off -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=g++ ...

Compile with MPI (Running on a cluster)

The CB-Geo mpm code can be compiled with MPI to distribute the workload across compute nodes in a cluster.

Additional steps to load OpenMPI on Fedora:

source /etc/profile.d/
export MODULEPATH=$MODULEPATH:/usr/share/modulefiles
module load mpi/openmpi-x86_64

Compile with OpenMPI (with halo exchange):

mkdir build && cd build
export CXX_COMPILER=mpicxx
make -jN

To enable halo exchange set -DHALO_EXCHANGE=On in CMake. Halo exchange is a better MPI communication protocol, however, use this only for larger number of MPI tasks (> 4).

Compile with Ninja build system [Alternative to Make]

  1. Run mkdir build && cd build && cmake -GNinja -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=g++ ...

  2. Run ninja

Compile with Partio viz support

Please include -DPARTIO_ROOT=/path/to/partio/ in the cmake command. A typical cmake command would look like cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -DPARTIO_ROOT=~/workspace/partio/ ..

Run tests

  1. Run ./mpmtest -s (for a verbose output) or ctest -VV.


See CB-Geo MPM Documentation for more detailed instructions.

The CB-Geo MPM code uses a JSON file for input configuration. To run the mpm code:

   ./mpm  [-p <parallel>] [-i <input_file>] -f <working_dir> [--]
          [--version] [-h]

For example:

export OMP_SCHEDULE="static,4"
./mpm -f /path/to/input-dir/ -i mpm-usf-3d.json


   -p <parallel>,  --parallel <parallel>
     Number of parallel threads

   -i <input_file>,  --input_file <input_file>
     Input JSON file [mpm.json]

   -f <working_dir>,  --working_dir <working_dir>
     (required)  Current working folder

   --,  --ignore_rest
     Ignores the rest of the labeled arguments following this flag.

     Displays version information and exits.

   -h,  --help
     Displays usage information and exits.

Running the code with MPI

To run the CB-Geo mpm code on a cluster with MPI:

mpirun -N <#-MPI-tasks> ./mpm -f /path/to/input-dir/ -i mpm.json

For example to run the code on 4 compute nodes (MPI tasks):

mpirun -N 4 ./mpm -f ~/benchmarks/3d/uniaxial-stress -i mpm.json


Please refer to the list of contributors to the CB-Geo MPM code.


If you publish results using our code, please acknowledge our work by quoting the following paper:

Kumar, K., Salmond, J., Kularathna, S., Wilkes, C., Tjung, E., Biscontin, G., & Soga, K. (2019). Scalable and modular material point method for large scale simulations. 2nd International Conference on the Material Point Method. Cambridge, UK.