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Distributed computing for membrane-based modeling of action potential propagation

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4 Author(s)
Porras, D. ; Dept. of Med., Alabama Univ., Birmingham, AL, USA ; Rogers, J.M. ; Smith, W.M. ; Pollard, A.E.

Action potential propagation simulations with physiologic membrane currents and macroscopic tissue dimensions are computationally expensive. The authors, therefore, analyzed distributed computing schemes to reduce execution time in workstation clusters by parallelizing solutions with message passing. Four schemes were considered in two-dimensional monodomain simulations with the Peeler-Reuter membrane equations. Parallel speedups measured with each scheme were compared to theoretical speedups, recognizing the relationship between speedup and code portions that executed serially. A data decomposition scheme based on total ionic current provided the best performance. Analysis of communication latencies in that scheme led to a load-balancing algorithm in which measured speedups at 89±2% and 75±8% of theoretical speedups were achieved in homogeneous and heterogeneous clusters of workstations. Speedups in this scheme with the Luo-Rudy dynamic membrane equations exceeded 3.0 with 8 distributed workstations. Cluster speedups were comparable to those measured during parallel execution on a shared memory machine.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 8 )