Parallelization of the flow-path network model using a particle-set strategy

Fangli Zhang, Qiming ZHOU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


High-performance simulation of flow dynamics remains a major challenge in the use of physical-based, fully distributed hydrologic models. Parallel computing has been widely used to overcome efficiency limitation by partitioning a basin into sub-basins and executing calculations among multiple processors. However, existing partition-based parallelization strategies are still hampered by the dependency between inter-connected sub-basins. This study proposed a particle-set strategy to parallelize the flow-path network (FPN) model for achieving higher performance in the simulation of flow dynamics. The FPN model replaced the hydrological calculations on sub-basins with the movements of water packages along the upstream and downstream flow paths. Unlike previous partition-based task decomposition approaches, the proposed particle-set strategy decomposes the computational workload by randomly allocating runoff particles to concurrent computing processors. Simulation experiments of the flow routing process were undertaken to validate the developed particle-set FPN model. The outcomes of hourly outlet discharges were compared with field gauged records, and up to 128 computing processors were tested to explore its speedup capability in parallel computing. The experimental results showed that the proposed framework can achieve similar prediction accuracy and parallel efficiency to that of the Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN)-based Real-Time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1984-2010
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Library and Information Sciences

User-Defined Keywords

  • digital elevation model
  • distributed hydrologic model
  • flow process
  • parallel computing
  • Terrain analysis


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