Center for Computing Research (CCR)

Center for Computing Research



Albany is an implicit, unstructured grid, finite element code for the solution and analysis of partial differential equations. Albany is the main demonstration application of the AgileComponents software development strategy at Sandia. It is a PDE code that strives to be built almost entirely from functionality contained within reusable libraries (such as Trilinos/STK/Dakota/PUMI). Albany plays a large role in demonstrating and maturing functionality of new libraries, and also in the interfaces and interoperability between these libraries. It also serves to expose gaps in our coverage of capabilities and interface design.


In addition to the component-based code design strategy, Albany also attempts to showcase the concept of Analysis Beyond Simulation, where an application code is developed up from for a design and analysis mission. All Albany applications are born with the ability to perform sensitivity analysis, stability analysis, optimization, and uncertainty quantification, with a clean interfaces for exposing design parameters for manipulation by analysis algorithms. 

Albany also attempts to be a model for software engineering tools and processes, so that new research codes can adopt the Albany infrastructure as a good starting point. This effort involves a close collaboration with the 1400 SEMS team.

The Albany code base is host to several application projects, notably:

  • LCM (Laboratory for Computational Mechanics) [PI J. Ostien]: A platform for research in finite deformation mechanics, including algorithms for failure and fracture modeling, discretizations, implicit solution algorithms, advanced material models, coupling to particle-based methods, and efficient implementations on new architectures.
  • QCAD (Quantum Computer Aided Design) [PI Nielsen]: A code to aid in the design of quantum dots from built in doped silicon devices. QCAD solves the coupled Schoedinger-Poisson system. When wrapped in Dakota, optimal operating conditions can be found.
  • FELIX (Finite Element for Land Ice eXperiments) [PI Salinger]: This application solves variants of a nonlinear Stokes flow for simulating the evolution of Ice Sheets. In particular we are modeling the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets for modeling effects of Climate change, in particularly their influence on Sea-Level Rise. Will be linked into ACME.
  • Aeras [PI Spotz]: A component-based approach to atmospheric modeling, where advanced analysis algorithms and design for efficient code on new architectures are built into the code.

In addition, Albany is used as a platform for algorithmic research:

  • FASTMath SciDAC project: We are developing a capability for adaptive mesh refinement within an unstructured grid application, in collaboration with Mark Shephard's group at the SCOREC center at RPI.
  • Embedded UQ: Research into embedded UQ algorithms led by Eric Phipps often uses Albany as a demonstration platform.
  • Performance Portable Kernels for new architectures: Albany is serving as a research vehicle for programming finite element assembly kernels using the Trilinos/Kokkos programming model and library.

Associated Software: Dakota  E3SM  Kokkos  Omega_h  Peridigm  Trilinos  

Project website

Contact: Hansen, Glen,