GPU-based acceleration of computations in nonlinear finite element deformation analysis
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The physics of deformation for biological soft-tissue is best described by nonlinear continuum mechanics-based models, which then can be discretized by the FEM for a numerical solution. However, computational complexity of such models have limited their use in applications requiring real-time or fast response. In this work, we propose a graphic processing unit-based implementation of the FEM using implicit time integration for dynamic nonlinear deformation analysis. This is the most general formulation of the deformation analysis. It is valid for large deformations and strains and can account for material nonlinearities. The data-parallel nature and the intense arithmetic computations of nonlinear FEM equations make it particularly suitable for implementation on a parallel computing platform such as graphic processing unit. In this work, we present and compare two different designs based on the matrix-free and conventional preconditioned conjugate gradients algorithms for solving the FEM equations arising in deformation analysis. The speedup achieved with the proposed parallel implementations of the algorithms will be instrumental in the development of advanced surgical simulators and medical image registration methods involving soft-tissue deformation.
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