1. Building and Testing

This page contains details of how to install Ludwig; all that is required in the most simple case is Gnu make and a functioning C compiler.

1.1. Configuration

Compilation of the main code is controlled by the config.mk in the top-level directory. This is a (gnu-) Makefile fragment which is included in all the relevant Makefiles in the code to describe the local configuration.

A number of example config.mk files are provided in the config directory (which can be copied and adjusted as needed). This section discusses a number of issues which influence compilation.

1.1.1. Parallel Build

You will need to copy one of the existing configuration files from the config directory to the top level directory. For a parellel build use, e.g.,

$ cp config/unix-mpicc-default.mk config.mk

The configuration file defines a number of variables which include MPICC, the compiler required for MPI programs:

BUILD   = parallel                # here "parallel" for message passing
MODEL   = -D_D3Q19_               # one of _D2Q9_ _D3Q15_, _D3Q19_ or _D3Q27_

CC      = mpicc                   # C compiler
CFLAGS  = -O2 -DNDEBUG            # compiler flags

AR      = ar                      # standard ar command
ARFLAGS = -cru                    # flags for ar
LDFLAGS =                         # additional link time flags

MPI_INC_PATH      =               # path to mpi.h (if required)
MPI_LIB_PATH      =               # path to libmpi.a (if required)
MPI_LIB           =               # -lmpi (if required)

LAUNCH_SERIAL_CMD =               # serial launch command
LAUNCH_MPIRUN_CMD = mpirun        # parallel launch command
MPIRUN_NTASK_FLAG = -np           # flag to set number of MPI tasks

If the MPI compiler wrapper does not require that MPI include and library paths be explicitly defined, the relevant variables can be left blank (as they are in the above example).

The test system requires that an MPI program can be started (often via mpirun) so relevant variables are also set. Note the number of MPI tasks used by the tests is not specified in the configuration.

1.1.2. Serial Build

If no MPI library is available, or strictly serial execution is wanted, the BUILD configuration variable should be set to serial. In this case, a stub MPI library is compiled as a replacement which allows the code to operate in serial.

To configure a serial build copy, e.g.,

$ cp config/unix-gcc-default.mk config.mk

to the top-level directory.

Again, you may need to edit the file to reflect local conditions. A minimum configuration might be:

BUILD   = serial                  # here "serial"
MODEL   = -D_D3Q19_               # preprocessor macro for model

CC      = gcc                     # C compiler
CFLAGS  = -O -g -Wall             # compiler options

AR      = ar                      # standard ar command
ARFLAGS = -cru                    # standard ar options
LDFLAGS =                         # additional link time flags

MPI_INC_PATH      = ./mpi_s       # stub MPI include location
MPI_LIB_PATH      = ./mpi_s       # stub MPI library location
MPI_LIB           = -lmpi         # MPI library link

LAUNCH_SERIAL_CMD =               # blank

The stub MPI library should be built before the main compilation. To do this,

$ make serial
$ make

1.2. Compilation

With a relevant configuration file in the top-level directory, compilation proceeds via

$ make

This will build the executable, the unit tests, and a small number of utilities. To remove these files, and other compilation products

$ make clean

1.2.1. Preprocessor options

A number of standard C-preprocessor macros are relevant at compilation time, and should be set in the configuration file. All are introduced to the compiler in the usual way via the -D flag. (Note this is also the form of the MODEL configuration variable which determines the LB basis set.) A summary is:

Macro           Purpose

_D2Q9_            # Use D2Q9  model
_D3Q15_           # Use D3Q15 model
_D3Q19_           # Use D3Q19 model
_D3Q27_           # Use D3Q27 model
                  # Set via the MODEL configuration variable. It is
                  # erroneous to define more than one of these three.

NDEBUG            # Standard C option to disable assertions.
                  # Should be used for all production runs.

NSIMDVL=4         # Set the SIMD vector length used in inner loops.
                  # The default vector length is 1. The best choice
                  # for performance depends on hardware (2, 4, 8...)

ADDR_SOA          # Use SOA array addressing (for GPU targets).
                  # Default is AOS (for CPU).

Apart from the choice of MODEL preprocessor options should be specified via the variable CFLAGS in the normal way.

1.2.2. Target Data Parallel

The code includes a lightweight abstraction of threaded parallelism referred to as targetDP. This supports either no threads (the default), OpenMP threads (when the target for production runs is a CPU), or CUDA threads (if the target device is an NVIDIA GPU). Control of the targetDP layer is via the compiler and compiler options. Using OpenMP

For OpenMP threads, the compiler options CFLAGS should include the standard flag for enabling OpenMP; the number of threads is set at runtime via OMP_NUM_THREADS in the usual way. For example, for Intel compilers this might be

CFLAGS = -fast -qopenmp

It is often the case that the OpenMP compiler option needs to be specified at both compile and link stages. This can be done conveniently via, e.g.,

CC = gcc -fopenmp

where we have specified the -fopenmp option relevant for GNU gcc.

The OpenMP implementation is strongly recommended, as it has a number of advantages over the simple MPI-only implementation. For example, if the local MPI domain size becomes small, it can limit both flexibility in parameter choices (particularly for large particles), and improve efficiency. Performance should remain reasonable as long as threads are limited to single NUMA regions. Using CUDA

If NVIDIA hardware is available and required, the code should be compiled with nvcc, which will cause the targetDP layer to make the appropriate thread model available.

An appropriate configuration file might be:

BUILD   = parallel
MODEL   = -D_D3Q19_

CC      = nvcc
CFLAGS  = -ccbin=icpc -DADDR_SOA -DNDEBUG -arch=sm_70 -x cu -dc

AR      = ar
LDFLAGS = -ccbin=icpc -arch=sm_70

MPI_HOME     = /path/to/mpi
MPI_INC_PATH = -I$(MPI_HOME)/include64
MPI_LIB_PATH = -L$(MPI_HOME)/lib64 -lmpi


As this is a parallel build using the nvcc compiler (with the native compiler being Intel icpc in this case), we specify explicitly the location of MPI include and library files.

Note the -DADDR_SOA preprocessor macro is set to provide the correct memory access for coalescing on GPU architectures. The appropriate -arch flag for nvcc is also provided to describe the relevant hardware (at both compile and link time). Using HIP

The targetDP layer supports a HIP implementation which can be used for AMD GPUs. Compilation is via the standard hipcc compiler. A configuration might be

BUILD   = parallel
MODEL   = -D_D3Q19_

CC      = hipcc
CFLAGS  = -x hip -O3 -fgpu-rdc --amdgpu-target=gfx90a -DADDR_SOA \

AR      = ar
LDFLAGS = -fgpu-rdc --hip-link --amdgpu-target=gfx90a

MPI_HOME     = /path/to/mpi
MPI_INC_PATH = -I$(MPI_HOME)/include
MPI_LIB_PATH = -L$(MPI_HOME)/lib -lmpi

The option -fgpu-rdc requests relocatable device code so that device code from different translation units (aka. files) can be called. It is the equivalent of nvcc -dc for NVIDIA platforms.

The current GPU architecture is specified with the --amdgpu-target option; this will vary between platforms.

The -DAMD_GPU_WORK_AROUND definition is required at the time of writing to allow the liquid crystal stress to be computed correctly.

Note that without the -DNDEBUG flag (as above) the time taken at the link stage can be around 30 minutes. (The reason appears to be that device code generation is deferred until link time, and more time is needed to expand the array address functions present in array references.) With -DNDEBUG the link time should be reasonable.

1.2.3. Electrokinetics and using PETSc

There is the option to use PETSc to solve the Poisson equation required in the electrokinetic problem. A rather less efficient in-built method can be used if PETSc is not available. We suggest a recent version of PETSc, which is available from Argonne National Laboratory http://petsc.org/release/.

If PETSc is required, please enter the additional variables in the config.mk file:

PETSC_INC  = /path/to/petsc/include
PETSC_LIB  = /path/to/petsc/lib

1.3. Testing

Various tests are found in the tests subdirectory. Type make test from the top level to run the default tests, which will take a few minutes.

$ make -s test
PASS     ./unit/test_pe
PASS     ./unit/test_coords

1.3.1. Unit tests

Unit tests are found in ./tests/unit and report pass or fail for each case. The unit tests can be run in either serial or parallel, and run as part of the default test target from the top level. Some tests may report ‘skip’ if they are not relevant on a particular platform.

1.3.2. Regression tests

A series of regression tests is available which run the main code with a given input and compare the answer with a reference output.

Regression tests may be run from the tests directory, e.g.,

$ cd tests
$ make d3q19-short

PASS     ./serial-actv-s01.inp
PASS     ./serial-actv-s02.inp

Each test should report pass or fail. Failures will produce a diff-like output showing how the current result differs from the reference result. Floating point numbers are checked to within a tolerance set in the ./tests/awk-fp-diff.sh script. Results can be subject to variations slightly larger than the tolerance depending on the platform/compiler. The default tests should be run in serial.