A matrix-free high-order solver for the numerical solution of cardiac electrophysiology


Computational Medicine for the Cardiocirculatory System
A matrix-free high-order solver for the numerical solution of cardiac electrophysiology
Wednesday 11th May 2022
Africa, P.C.; Salvador, M.; Gervasio, P.; Dede', L.; Quarteroni, A.
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We propose a matrix-free solver for the numerical solution of the cardiac electrophysiology model consisting of the monodomain nonlinear reaction-diffusion equation coupled with a system of ordinary differential equations for the ionic species. Our numerical approximation is based on the high-order Spectral Element Method (SEM) to achieve accurate numerical discretization while employing a much smaller number of Degrees of Freedom than first-order Finite Elements. We combine sum-factorization with vectorization, thus allowing for a very efficient use of high-order polynomials in a high performance computing framework. We validate the effectiveness of our matrix-free solver in a variety of applications and perform different electrophysiological simulations ranging from a simple slab of cardiac tissue to a realistic four-chamber heart geometry. We compare SEM to SEM with Numerical Integration (SEM-NI), showing that they provide comparable results in terms of accuracy and efficiency. In both cases, increasing the local polynomial degree p leads to better numerical results and smaller computational times than reducing the mesh size h. We also implement a matrix-free Geometric Multigrid preconditioner that entails better performance in terms of linear solver iterations than state-of-the-art matrix-based Algebraic Multigrid preconditioners. As a matter of fact, the matrix-free solver here proposed yields up to 50× speed-up with respect to a conventional matrix-based solver.