Created: 2011-07-15 19:08
Updated: 2018-03-02 09:59

D Lattice Boltzmann Code

Build Status Coverage Status

Two merging droplets

DLBC is a fully paralellized implementation of the lattice Boltzmann method for simulating fluid dynamics, using the D programming language. The goal is to prove the suitability of the D programming language for scientific computing / HPC and provide a well-tested and well-documented benchmark code, which will also perform well.


  • Generic code that can use D3Q19, D2Q9, D1Q5 or D1Q3 lattices, speficied at compile time (other connectivities can be easily added when required).
  • Fluid multicomponent model by Shan and Chen, supporting an arbitrary number of fluids.
  • Static geometries with bounce-back boundary conditions.
  • Fully parallelized code using MPI.
  • Ability to write checkpoints to allow to split up long simulations into short runs.
  • Code quality safeguards:


An example of an installation can be found in the Travis CI file. This does not include plotting / rendering / documentation requirements.

Basic requirements

DMD: DMD-2.070.0 DMD-2.066.1 DMD-2.065.0

LDC: LDC-0.15.1 LDC-0.14.0

GDC: GDC-4.9.2 GDC-4.9.0

  • The code has been tested on Linux only; it may work on other systems as well, but this has never been tried.
  • To build the code a D compiler is required (obviously). In particular, because of the use of the new multidimensional array syntax, a frontend version v2.066.0 or later is required. The code currently compiles with DMD, as well as GDC and LDC2. GDC currently achieves the best performance.
  • The use of DUB as an installer is recommended (and is required for testing).
  • To run the simulation code, the MPICH 3.1 and HDF5 1.8.13 libraries are required.

Additional requirements

  • To run the tests, python and the HDF5 binaries are also required (in particular h5diff).
  • To create the test result plots matplotlib, h5py and numpy/scipy are required (installing Anaconda is an easy way to achieve this).
  • To create PDF documentation, LaTeX is required.
  • To render the data, mayavi is required.


D HDF5 bindings have been added as a dub dependency on hdf5-d. This is a work in progess but does the job for now.

D MPI bindings are also still a work in progress and are currently handled through a partial header translation mpi.d in this repository, which only includes MPI functions that are actually required by this code. It also only allows for MPICH to be used; OpenMPI is not yet supported.

Multidimensional arrays have been added using a fork of Denis Shelomovskij's Unstandard library. Compared to upstream, some modules that are not used by DLBC have been removed, and support for addressing the array by a fixed-length array have been added. Ideally, this dependency will be removed in favour of an ndslice implementation in the standard library.

Code quality

Continuous integration testing using Travis CI is achieved by a small custom Python framework with a JSON test specification. PDF documentation on the testing framework can be generated:

cd tests/runnable/doc ; make

Code coverage analysis is built into the DMD compiler. The Python testing framework is used to merge coverage information from unittests and runnable tests into a single set of files. The data is then sent to by Doveralls.

Using the code


DLBC can be most easily compiled using DUB.

dub build -b release -c <configuration> --compiler <compiler>

where <configuration> specifies the lattice connectivity and is one of d3q19 (default), d2q9, d1q5 or d1q3, and <compiler> is usually one of dmd, gdc, or ldc2.

The Makefile currently forwards to DUB build instructions.

Running a simulation

Calling the executable with -h will display a usage message. One will normally use

mpirun -np <n> ./dlbc -v <verbosity> -p <>

to run a basic simulation, where <n> is the number of processes MPI will use, <verbosity> specifies how much output is written to the console, and <> is a path to a parameter file. Examples of these can be found in the various tests below tests/runnable. Full documentation for all parameters can currently be found only in the code comments; creating a user pdf guide is a work in progress.


Plugins can be added in or below the src/dlbc/plugins directory. The module constructor should be used to register an initialisation function with the main code (which in turn can be used to hook up more functions). Any modules containing parameters are added to the list through the script, which is run prior to compilation. For details, cf. the plugins readme file.

Future improvements

  • Improve test code coverage.
  • Improve documentation (including pdf user guide).
  • Validate electric charge extension.
  • Performance improvements.

Pull requests

Are welcomed!


The simulation code is made available under the GPL-3.0 license. The submodules are subject to their own licenses.

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