PETSc in a nutshell

PETSc/TAO is a tool for writing, analyzing, and optimizing properties of large-scale numerical simulations.

PETSc Structure Diagram

Algebraic objects

  • Vec - containers for simulation solutions, right hand sides of linear systems, etc.

  • Mat - contain Jacobians and operators that define linear systems

  • IS indices - used to access portions of vectors and matrix, for example {1,2,4} or 1:10


  • PC preconditioners - approximate solvers to algebra systems without a history of previous iterations

  • KSP Krylov Subspace methods - approximate solvers with a history of previous iterations

  • SNES nolinear equation solvers

  • TS time integrators (ODE/PDE), explicit, implicit, local and global error estimators

  • TSAdjoint derivatives/sensitivities of functions of ODE/PDE integration solutions

  • TAO - optimization, with equality and inequality constraints, first and second order (Newton) methods

Connectors of continuum models, meshes, and discretizations to solvers and algebraic objects

  • DMDA - for simulations computed on simple structured grids

  • DMSTAG - for simulations computed on staggered grids

  • DMPLEX - for simulation computed on unstructured meshes

  • DMNETWORK - for simulations on networks or graphs, for example the power grid, river networks, the nervous system

  • DMP4EST - for simulations on collections of quad or octree meshes

  • DMSWARM - for simulations on particles


  • PetscOptions - control of discretization and solution process

  • PetscViewer - visualizing algebraic objects, solvers, connectors

  • Monitor - monitoring of solution progress

  • Profiling - profiling of the performance of the simulation solution process