A parallel sweeping preconditioner for frequency-domain seismic wave propagation

Jack Poulson, Björn Engquist, Siwei Li, Lexing Ying

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present a parallel implementation of Engquist and Ying's sweeping preconditioner, which exploits radiation boundary conditions in order to form an approximate block LDLT factorization of the Helmholtz operator with only O(N4/3) work and an application (and memory) cost of only O(N logN). The approximate factorization is then used as a preconditioner for GMRES, and we show that essentially O(1) iterations are required for convergence, even for the full SEG/EAGE over-thrust model at 30 Hz. In particular, we demonstrate the solution of said problem in a mere 15 minutes on 8192 cores of TACC's Lonestar, which may be the largest-scale 3D heterogeneous Helmholtz calculation to date. Generalizations of our parallel strategy are also briefly discussed for time-harmonic linear elasticity and Maxwell's equations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts 2012
PublisherSociety of Exploration Geophysicists
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781622769452
StatePublished - Oct 25 2012
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'A parallel sweeping preconditioner for frequency-domain seismic wave propagation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this