Primary Goals

Before jumping into the task of parallelizing Impulse, we considered the reasons for attempting such a project and what goals we would like to achieve as a result.

The long term goal for the serial version of Impulse is to produce physically accurate, real time 3D simulation of reasonably complex systems.

Our goals of attempting to parallelize Impulse can be best summed up in the following two statements.

Improve performance of complex systems with very large numbers of rigid bodies.

System with very large numbers of objects will benefit from a parallel implementation. However, as discussed in the results section, such large systems would not run on the CM5 due to memory constraints and we were forced to test our system only on smaller systems where we don't expect such large improvements.

Approach real-time simulation for VR and user interaction in dynamical systems

Clearly we would like to approach real-time simulation of system so that users can actually interact with the simulator. Without a object to processors mapping system as described in the future section, it is difficult to achieve this type of parallel performance. However, with the modifications described there, we hope to achieve ever closer real-time performance, especially on large systems.

It's important that during our pursuit of these goals that we maintain the initial design criteria for this Impulse as a physically accurate and computational efficiency simulation tool.

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Eric Paulos / / 10 May 1995