A scalable computational platform for particulate Stokes suspensions

Wen Yan, Eduardo Corona, Dhairya Malhotra, Shravan Veerapaneni, Michael Shelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe a computational framework for simulating suspensions of rigid particles in Newtonian Stokes flow. One central building block is a collision-resolution algorithm that overcomes the numerical constraints arising from particle collisions. This algorithm extends the well-known complementarity method for non-smooth multi-body dynamics to resolve collisions in dense rigid body suspensions. This approach formulates the collision resolution problem as a linear complementarity problem with geometric ‘non-overlapping’ constraints imposed at each time-step. It is then reformulated as a constrained quadratic programming problem and the Barzilai-Borwein projected gradient descent method is applied for its solution. This framework is designed to be applicable for any convex particle shape, e.g., spheres and spherocylinders, and applicable to any Stokes mobility solver, including the Rotne-Prager-Yamakawa approximation, Stokesian Dynamics, and PDE solvers (e.g., boundary integral and immersed boundary methods). In particular, this method imposes Newton's Third Law and records the entire contact network. Further, we describe a fast, parallel, and spectrally-accurate boundary integral method tailored for spherical particles, capable of resolving lubrication effects. We show weak and strong parallel scalings up to 8×104 particles with approximately 4×107 degrees of freedom on 1792 cores. We demonstrate the versatility of this framework with several examples, including sedimentation of particle clusters, and active matter systems composed of ensembles of particles driven to rotate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109524
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Boundary integral methods
  • Collision resolution
  • Constrained optimization
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Suspensions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'A scalable computational platform for particulate Stokes suspensions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this