New GPU computing algorithm for wind load uncertainty analysis on high-rise systems

  • Received : 2015.01.14
  • Accepted : 2015.07.24
  • Published : 2015.11.25


In recent years, the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) has become a competitive computing technology in comparison with the standard Central Processing Unit (CPU) technology due to reduced unit cost, energy and computing time. This paper describes the derivation and implementation of GPU-based algorithms for the analysis of wind loading uncertainty on high-rise systems, in line with the research field of probability-based wind engineering. The study begins by presenting an application of the GPU technology to basic linear algebra problems to demonstrate advantages and limitations. Subsequently, Monte-Carlo integration and synthetic generation of wind turbulence are examined. Finally, the GPU architecture is used for the dynamic analysis of three high-rise structural systems under uncertain wind loads. In the first example the fragility analysis of a single degree-of-freedom structure is illustrated. Since fragility analysis employs sampling-based Monte Carlo simulation, it is feasible to distribute the evaluation of different random parameters among different GPU threads and to compute the results in parallel. In the second case the fragility analysis is carried out on a continuum structure, i.e., a tall building, in which double integration is required to evaluate the generalized turbulent wind load and the dynamic response in the frequency domain. The third example examines the computation of the generalized coupled wind load and response on a tall building in both along-wind and cross-wind directions. It is concluded that the GPU can perform computational tasks on average 10 times faster than the CPU.


wind engineering;parallel computing;GPU computing;uncertainty quantification;performance-based wind engineering;tall buildings


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Supported by : National Science Foundation (NSF)