“Timewarp rigid body simulation” by Mirtich

  • ©Brian V. Mirtich




    Timewarp rigid body simulation



    The traditional high-level algorithms for rigid body simulation work well for moderate numbers of bodies but scale poorly to systems of hundreds or more moving, interacting bodies. The problem is unnecessary synchronization implicit in these methods. Jefferson’s timewarp algorithm [22] is a technique for alleviating this problem in parallel discrete event simulation. Rigid body dynamics, though a continuous process, exhibits many aspects of a discrete one. With modification, the timewarp algorithm can be used in a uniprocessor rigid body simulator to give substantial performance improvements for simulations with large numbers of bodies. This paper describes the limitations of the traditional high-level simulation algorithms, introduces Jefferson’s algorithm, and extends and optimizes it for the rigid body case. It addresses issues particular to rigid body simulation, such as collision detection and contact group management, and describes how to incorporate these into the timewarp framework. Quantitative experimental results indicate that the timewarp algorithm offers significant performance improvements over traditional high-level rigid body simulation algorithms, when applied to systems with hundreds of bodies. It also helps pave the way to parallel implementations, as the paper discusses.


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