[petsc-users] human-readable examples and PETSc idioms

Marco Zocca zocca.marco at gmail.com
Thu Jul 9 23:02:35 CDT 2015

   I'm looking for some non-optimized PETSc code; namely, I struggle a
bit with generalizing the provided examples. On one hand inlined
elementary operations help keep track of the FLOPs but make for
hard-to read code.

For instance, KSP example 2, (
), isn't there a better abstraction to defining the finite-difference
grid Laplacian than the following?

for (Ii=Istart; Ii<Iend; Ii++) {
      v = -1.0; i = Ii/n; j = Ii - i*n;
      if (i>0)   {J = Ii - n; MatSetValues(A,1,&Ii,1,&J,&v,ADD_VALUES);}
      if (i<m-1) {J = Ii + n; MatSetValues(A,1,&Ii,1,&J,&v,ADD_VALUES);}
      if (j>0)   {J = Ii - 1; MatSetValues(A,1,&Ii,1,&J,&v,ADD_VALUES);}
      if (j<n-1) {J = Ii + 1; MatSetValues(A,1,&Ii,1,&J,&v,ADD_VALUES);}
      v = 4.0; MatSetValues(A,1,&Ii,1,&Ii,&v,ADD_VALUES);

I see this approach as very error prone, yet this is one of the
simplest examples.

Another problematic trend I see is hardcoding constants and
assumptions on the functions, e.g. in the following (taken from
, removed comments for space) we are interested in forming a matrix A
from the values contained in a vector x; i.e. some 'map' operation
that sweeps x and prepares rows of A at a time according to some fixed
stencil, with separate treatment of boundary values .

Isn't there an idiom to abstract out this functionality? It's one of
the most common operations in numerical PDE codes:


d    = (PetscReal)(n - 1); d = d*d;

for (i=1; i<n-1; i++) {
  j[0] = i - 1; j[1] = i; j[2] = i + 1;
  A[0] = A[2] = d; A[1] = -2.0*d + 2.0*xx[i];

i = 0;   A[0] = 1.0;

i = n-1; A[0] = 1.0;



I think it would be extremely helpful if the developers of the
examples spent a little time in adding theory annotations to the code,
and I would be very thankful if anybody could point me to relevant
tutorials and literature.

Thank you in advance and kind regards,
Marco Zocca

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