Reprint of: Parallel agent-based modeling of spatial opinion diffusion accelerated using graphics processing units


Tang, Wenwu; Bennett, David

Journal or Book Title: Ecological Modelling

Keywords: agent-based models; spatial opinion exchange; parallel computing; graphics processing units; cyberinfrastructure

Volume/Issue: 229/March 24, 2012

Page Number(s): 108-118

Year Published: 2012


In this article, we describe a parallel agent-based model of spatial opinion diffusion that is driven by graphics processing units (GPUs). Modeling opinion exchange and diffusion across landscapes often involves the simulation of large numbers of geographically located individual decision-makers and a massive number of individual-level interactions. This simulation requires substantial computational power. GPU-enabled computing resources provide a massively parallel processing platform based on a fine-grained shared memory paradigm. This massively parallel processing platform holds considerable promise for meeting the computing requirement of agent-based models of spatial problems. In this article, we focus on the parallelization of an agent-based spatial opinion model using GPU technologies. We discussed key algorithms designed for parallel agent-based opinion modeling: including domain decomposition and mutual exclusion. Experiments conducted to examine computing performance show that GPUs provide a computationally efficient alternative to traditional parallel computing architectures and substantially accelerate agent-based models of large-scale opinion exchange among individual decision makers.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.02.003

Type of Publication: Journal Article

Publisher: Elsevier