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Dynamics Simulation Using Server Cluster Technology

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Simulations and Visualizations

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.481.1 - 25.481.10

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Paper Authors


Claudio Luiz Curotto Federal University of Parana, Brazil

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Claudio Luiz Curotto is Associate Professor, UFPR, Curitiba, PR, Brazil, 1980-present. He was Visiting Professor, OU, Norman, Okla., USA, 2011-2012; Postdoc, civil engineering, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil, 2005-2007; and Visiting Professor, KUL, Leuven, Belgium, 2006. He has a D.Sc., civil engineering, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil 2003; a M.Sc., civil engineering, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil, 1981; a civil engineer degree, UEL, Londrina, PR, Brazil, 1976; and a Licentiate in Mathematics, UEL, Londrina, PR, Brazil, 1975.

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Kurt C. Gramoll University of Oklahoma

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Dynamics Simulation using Server Cluster TechnologyIn order to achieve better results in introductory dynamics courses of engineeringcurricula a method for Learning Dynamics through Computational Experiments isproposed.This method is a kind of Problem Based Learning approach, where students areencouraged to search for knowledge by the developing of projects during thecourse.These projects are presented as computational experiments where students have theopportunity to see how dynamics problems really work, modifying someparameters and getting the results. Their final work is to develop the theoreticalbasis of the projects and compare the results. Of course, these projects mustinclude as much as possible of the course contents, as shown by the two suggestedprojects illustrated by Fig. 1 and 2.As long as such experiments can be accessed by too many students at the sametime and some experiments can be very time consuming, a server clustertechnology will be used.The students will be using a web page on their own computer, where theexperiment parameters can be modified by a client application. The input data issent to a server cluster where a simulation application runs the experiment. Theoutput data come back to the student’s computer and the web page shows thesimulation and their results.A time-based collision physics engine server application will be implemented onthe cluster server using parallel programming techniques for multi-cell CPUs. Forsuch a task a well-known and efficient open source physics engine will be portedto parallel programming.The details of the implementation of both, the client and the server applications aswell as how the data interchanges between the applications will be shown.Some experiments will be built to illustrate the behavior of the developed software.Fig. 1 Launcher – Includes Rectilinear Kinematics: Continuous, Dependent MotionAnalysis, Kinetics of a Particle, Equations of Motion, Motion of a Projectile andFriction.Fig. 2 Wrecking Ball – Includes Planar Kinematics of a Rigid Body, Rotationabout a Fixed Axis, Moment of Inertia, Equations of Motion: Rotation about aFixed Axis, Impact, Friction.

Curotto, C. L., & Gramoll, K. C. (2012, June), Dynamics Simulation Using Server Cluster Technology Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas.

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