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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is ParFE?
    ParFE is a fully-parallel finite element code for the modeling of human bone microstructures. It uses several freely-available software libraries, as detailed in the installation page.

  2. What does it mean fully-parallel?
    It means that all phases in the ParFE execution are run in parallel. This invollves the data input-output, the definition of the mesh data structures, the construction of the matrix (in matrix-ready approaches only), the definition of the preconditioner and the solution of the linear system. As such, the code scales nicely: if you want to solve bigger problems, just add more processors!

  3. Where does ParFE run?
    ParFE is currently compiled and run on a CRAY XT3 with 1700 processors and a beowulf cluster. It has been developed under Linux and MAC OS X.

  4. Is ParFE a general finite element code?
    No, ParFE has been developed with bone microstructures in mind. It is only 3D, and supports only hexahedra. The boundary conditions are quite simple as well -- only what you need for bone modeling. These problems are quite difficult themselves and require ad-hoc discretization and solution methods.

  5. Can I solve non-linear elasticity?
    At the present time no. The current version of ParFE only supports linear elasticity, and requires that all mesh elements are hexahedra. It is easy to extend the code to more general situations, but it has to be done.