International journal for numerical methods in engineering vol:38 issue:3 pages:433-450
We address the problem of automatic partitioning of unstructured finite element meshes in the context of parallel numerical algorithms based on domain decomposition. A two-step approach is proposed, which combines a direct partitioning scheme with a non-deterministic procedure of combinatorial optimization. In contrast with previously published experiments with non-deterministic heuristics, the optimization step is shown to produce high-quality decompositions at a reasonable compute cost. We also show that the optimization approach can accommodate complex topological constraints and minimization objectives. This is illustrated by considering the particular case of topologically one-dimensional partitions, as well as load balancing of frontal subdomain solvers. Finally, the optimization procedure produces, in most cases, decompositions endowed with geometrically smooth interfaces. This contrasts with available partitioning schemes, and is crucial to some modern numerical techniques based on domain decomposition and a Lagrange multiplier treatment of the interface conditions.