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3.1 Software libraries and toolkits

More recently, particularly in work on fully generic spacetimes, where all three spatial dimensions must be treated numerically, there has been a strong trend towards the use of higher-level software libraries and modular “computational toolkits” such as Cactus [74] (External Linkhttp://www.cactuscode.org). These have a substantial learning overhead, but can allow researchers to work much more productively by focusing more on numerical relativity instead of computer-science and software-engineering issues such as parameter-file parsing, parallelization, I/O, etc.

A particularly important area for such software infrastructure is mesh refinement5. This is essential to much current numerical-relativity research but is moderately difficult to implement even in only one spatial dimension, and much harder in multiple spatial dimensions. There are now a number of software libraries providing multi-dimensional mesh-refinement infrastructure (sometimes combined with parallelization), such as those listed in Table 1. The External LinkCactus toolkit can be used in either unigrid or mesh-refinement modes, the latter using a “mesh-refinement driver” such as PAGH or Carpet [134Jump To The Next Citation Point131Jump To The Next Citation Point] (External Linkhttp://www.carpetcode.org).

In this review I point out event and apparent horizon finders which have been written in particular frameworks and comment on whether they work with mesh refinement.



Table 1: This table lists some software toolkits for multi-dimensional mesh refinement. All these toolkits also provide parallelization.


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