Parallel Smoothed Aggregation Multilevel Schwarz Preconditioned Newton-Krylov Algorithms for Poisson-Boltzmann Problems

Shang Rong Cai, Jun Yi Xiao, Yu Chieh Tseng, Feng Nan Hwang

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1 Scopus citations


We study a multilevel Schwarz preconditioned Newton-Krylov algorithm to solve the Poisson-Boltzmann equation with applications in multi-particle colloidal simulation. The smoothed aggregation-type coarse mesh space is introduced in collaboration with the one-level Schwarz method as a composite preconditioner for accelerating the convergence of a Krylov subspace method for solving the Jacobian system at each Newton step. The important feature of the proposed solution algorithm is that the geometric mesh information needed for constructing the multilevel preconditioner is the same as the one-level Schwarz method on the fine mesh. Other components, such as the definition of the coarse mesh, all the mesh transfer operators, and the coarse mesh problem, are taken care of by the Trillinos/ML packages of the Sandia National Laboratories in the United States. After algorithmic parameter tuning, we show that the proposed smoothed aggregation multilevel Newton-Krylov-Schwarz (NKS) algorithm numerically outperforms than smoothed aggregation multigrid method and one-level version of the NKS algorithm with satisfactory parallel performances up to a few thousand cores. Besides, we investigate how the electrostatic forces between particles for the separation distance depend on the radius of spherical colloidal particles and valence ratios of cation and anion in a cubic system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-769
Number of pages25
JournalNumerical Mathematics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Domain decomposition
  • Newton-Krylov-Schwarz algorithm
  • Parallel computing
  • Poisson-Boltzmann equation
  • Smoothed aggregation


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