Date of Award

December 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Tapan K. Sarkar

Second Advisor

Yoonseok Lee


Computational Electromagnetics

Subject Categories



What is the impact of multicore and associated advanced technologies on computational software for science? Most researchers and students have multicore laptops or desktops for their research and they need computing power to run computational software packages. Computing power was initially derived from Central Processing Unit (CPU) clock speed. That changed when increases in clock speed became constrained by power requirements. Chip manufacturers turned to multicore CPU architectures and associated technological advancements to create the CPUs for the future. Most software applications benefited by the increased computing power the same way that increases in clock speed helped applications run faster. However, for Computational ElectroMagnetics (CEM) software developers, this change was not an obvious benefit – it appeared to be a detriment. Developers were challenged to find a way to correctly utilize the advancements in hardware so that their codes could benefit. The solution was parallelization and this dissertation details the investigation to address these challenges.

Prior to multicore CPUs, advanced computer technologies were compared with the performance using benchmark software and the metric was FLoting-point Operations Per Seconds (FLOPS) which indicates system performance for scientific applications that make heavy use of floating-point calculations. Is FLOPS an effective metric for parallelized CEM simulation tools on new multicore system? Parallel CEM software needs to be benchmarked not only by FLOPS but also by the performance of other parameters related to type and utilization of the hardware, such as CPU, Random Access Memory (RAM), hard disk, network, etc. The codes need to be optimized for more than just FLOPs and new parameters must be included in benchmarking.

In this dissertation, the parallel CEM software named High Order Basis Based Integral Equation Solver (HOBBIES) is introduced. This code was developed to address the needs of the changing computer hardware platforms in order to provide fast, accurate and efficient solutions to large, complex electromagnetic problems. The research in this dissertation proves that the performance of parallel code is intimately related to the configuration of the computer hardware and can be maximized for different hardware platforms. To benchmark and optimize the performance of parallel CEM software, a variety of large, complex projects are created and executed on a variety of computer platforms. The computer platforms used in this research are detailed in this dissertation. The projects run as benchmarks are also described in detail and results are presented. The parameters that affect parallel CEM software on High Performance Computing Clusters (HPCC) are investigated. This research demonstrates methods to maximize the performance of parallel CEM software code.


Open Access

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Engineering Commons