In this step, we see how to define coupling meshes and access coupling data.
Updated 19 Mar 24

For coupling, we need coupling meshes. Let’s see how we can tell preCICE about our coupling mesh. For the moment, we define coupling meshes only as clouds of vertices. In Step 8, we will learn how to define mesh connectivity, so edges, triangles, and quads.

Coupling meshes and associated data fields are defined in the preCICE configuration file, which you probably already know from the tutorials. The concrete values, however, you can access with the API:

VertexID setMeshVertex(
    ::precice::string_view        meshName,
    ::precice::span<const double> position);

void setMeshVertices(
    precice::string_view        meshName,
    precice::span<const double> positions,
    precice::span<VertexID>     ids);
  • setMeshVertex defines the coordinates of a single mesh vertex and returns a vertex ID, which you can use to refer to this vertex.
  • setMeshVertices defines multiple vertices at once. So, you can use this function instead of calling setMeshVertex multiple times. This is also good practice for performance reasons.

To write data to the coupling data structure the following API function is needed:

void Participant::writeData(
    precice::string_view          meshName,
    precice::string_view          dataName,
    precice::span<const VertexID> vertices,
    precice::span<const double>   values)

Similarly, there is a readData API function for reading coupling data:

void readData(
    precice::string_view          meshName,
    precice::string_view          dataName,
    precice::span<const VertexID> vertices,
    double                        relativeReadTime,
    precice::span<double>         values) const;

The relative read time can be anything from the current point in time (0) to the end of the time window (getMaxTimeStepSize()). We will talk about the additional argument relativeReadTime in detail in the section on time interpolation.

Let’s define coupling meshes and access coupling data in our example code:

turnOnSolver(); //e.g. setup and partition mesh

precice::Participant precice("FluidSolver","precice-config.xml",rank,size); // constructor

int meshDim = precice.getMeshDimensions("FluidMesh");
int vertexSize; // number of vertices at wet surface
// determine vertexSize
std::vector<double> coords(vertexSize*dim); // coords of vertices at wet surface
// determine coordinates
std::vector<int> vertexIDs(vertexSize);
precice.setMeshVertices("FluidMesh", coords, vertexIDs);

int forcesDim = precice.getDataDimensions("FluidMesh", "Forces");
std::vector<double> forces(vertexSize*forcesDim);
int displacementsDim = precice.getDataDimensions("FluidMesh", "Displacements");
std::vector<double> displacements(vertexSize*displacementsDim);

double solverDt; // solver time step size
double preciceDt; // maximum precice time step size
double dt; // actual time step size

while (not simulationDone()){ // time loop
  preciceDt = precice.getMaxTimeStepSize();
  solverDt = beginTimeStep(); // e.g. compute adaptive dt
  dt = min(preciceDt, solverDt);
  precice.readData("FluidMesh", "Displacements", vertexIDs, dt, displacements);
  precice.writeData("FluidMesh", "Forces", vertexIDs, forces);
  endTimeStep(); // e.g. update variables, increment time
precice.finalize(); // frees data structures and closes communication channels

Did you see that your fluid solver now also needs to provide the functions computeForces and setDisplacements? As you are an expert in your fluid code, these functions should be easy to implement. Most probably, you already have such functionality anyway. If you are not an expert in your code try to find an expert :smirk:.

Once your adapter reaches this point, it is a good idea to test your adapter against one of the solverdummies, which then plays the role of the SolidSolver.

You can use the following precice-config.xml:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

    <data:vector name="Forces"/>
    <data:vector name="Displacements"/>

    <mesh name="FluidMesh" dimensions="3">
      <use-data name="Forces"/>
      <use-data name="Displacements"/>

    <mesh name="StructureMesh" dimensions="3">
      <use-data name="Forces"/>
      <use-data name="Displacements"/>

    <participant name="FluidSolver">
      <provide-mesh name="FluidMesh" />
      <receive-mesh name="StructureMesh" from="SolidSolver"/>
      <write-data name="Forces" mesh="FluidMesh"/>
      <read-data  name="Displacements" mesh="FluidMesh"/>
      <mapping:nearest-neighbor direction="write" from="FluidMesh"
                                to="StructureMesh" constraint="conservative"/>
      <mapping:nearest-neighbor direction="read" from="StructureMesh"
                                to="FluidMesh" constraint="consistent"/>

    <participant name="SolidSolver">
      <provide-mesh name="StructureMesh" />
      <write-data name="Displacements" mesh="StructureMesh"/>
      <read-data  name="Forces" mesh="StructureMesh"/>

    <m2n:sockets from="FluidSolver" to="SolidSolver"/>

      <participants first="FluidSolver" second="SolidSolver"/>
      <max-time-windows value="10" />
      <time-window-size value="1.0" />
      <exchange data="Forces" mesh="StructureMesh" from="FluidSolver" to="SolidSolver"/>
      <exchange data="Displacements" mesh="StructureMesh" from="SolidSolver" to="FluidSolver"/>