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Biswajit Banerjee's blog

Javascript frontend for simulations?

I've been exploring the possibility of frontend development for engineering simulations in Javascript.  Following on from the previous post on generating VTK XML particle data output files from our simulation, her's a new post on reading in those files in Javascript.  See my article at

-- Biswajit

Particles and VTK

The find out how data from your particle simulations can be written out in VTK XML format, examine

-- Biswajit

Writing VTK output files in C++

If you're interested in visualizing your data with Visit or Paraview, it's convenient to write out VTK files.  If you are a C++ person you will find my post at of interest.

-- Biswajit

JSON or XML for your input files?

Either, depending on your taste and use-case.  I prefer XML for aesthetic reasons, but that format can get verbose.  Check out my new post on how to read JSON files in your C++ code at

-- Biswajit

Reading input files in your C++ research code

Mechanics research codes are typically written by graduate students who aim to get their work done as quickly as possible. These codes are not meant to last beyond the publication of a few related papers. These files have the advantage that they can be read in quickly using an input file stream and the code for doing that can be written in minutes. 

Regression testing with the Command design pattern

Computational mechanics practitioners are not typically known for practising well-established software engineering techniques. That makes code developed by various research groups next to impossible to understand and modify.  I still see requests on iMechanica on how to implement Drucker-Prager models when every freshman student probably has their own implementation.  It is likely that the person who developed a particular code cannot themselves understand the code a few years after the relevant paper has been published.  

Modernizing your old c++ code

Continuing yesterday's thread on new C++ productivity tools, here's another one on using clang-tidy to modernize your code automatically to C++11/14. Life becomes markedly easier after the code has been updated.  Check out my post at to see how I've integrated clang-tidy into my toolchain.

-- Biswajit

Formatting your C++ code

Some of you may be involved in computational work where your students develop C++ codes.  If the code is formatted well it's easier to read and understand.  With the creation of clang-format, the job of formatting (and not just indentation) can now be automated to a great extent.  For a few pointers on how-to, check out my post at

-- Biswajit

A disseration style worth emulating ?


... We do not assume any of those words make any kind of sense, though we do make certain assumptions about how much time the reader has on her hands and what kind of sense of humor she has.

I urge you to read the rest of the dissertation.

GPU Technology Conference 2015

This year's talks are now at

A large number of interesting talks from the 2014 conference can be found at

There is even one talk on structural mechanics in the 2014 conf.


-- Biswajit

Sampling data from large numerical simulations - part 2

The new blog post discusses yet another application of the Linear Assignment Problem; in this case the use of the Hungarian algorithm for finding an optimal list of close data points to a set of point generated using Latin Hypercube sampling.  See

-- Biswajit

Sampling data from large numerical simulations

Large numerical simulations lead to large data sets that typically need some sampling to make analysis tractable.  Check out my upcoming series of posts on the topic at

-- Biswajit

Please support "Theoretical and Applied Mechanics" at Stack Exchange

Hello everyone,

I've proposed a new Stack Exchange site called "Theoretical and Applied Mechanics" for people intersted in mechaics related issues.  The current link is

For the proposal to be accepted to go to the next stage the site will need the  following:

- 60 people to follow the site

Research notes: March 6, 2014

Earth science: Missing link in mantle dynamics

 Disclinations provide the missing mechanism for deforming olivine-rich rocks in the mantle


Mechanics journal impact factors 2012

Some funding agencies require that articles be published only in journals with impact factors greater than 1. Here's a list from 2012 that tells you which to choose (if you care about impact factors).
-- Biswajit


Abbreviated Journal Title
Impact Factor

Paper: On finding cohesive law parameters for foam-metal interfaces

A detailed report of our work on trying to find cohesive laws for interfacial fracture is attached.  I will add the experimental data after a shorter version of this report has been published.

The reason for posting this report on iMechanica is so that people who want to replicate the tests or perform similar tests know what is involved.  As we have found out, many details and potential problems faced by an experimentalist are hard to determine from the concise papers that are typically published as journal articles.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Fractal surface mesh generation

Saber El Arem (node/14053 ) wanted to know how a fractal surface mesh could be created.

I've had to do that in the past.  What I did was to use Arjun Viswanathan's 1999 Matlab snippet on creating a plasma fractal and write a wrapper around it to create an output file that could be read by the then available version of Abaqus.

I've attached a couple of Matlab files that should be able to do the job.   The .txt extensions are needed because iMechanica does not accept files with .m extensions.

11th Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management GCMM 2012

Dear Colleagues

This is a gentle reminder that the final date for submission of abstracts to the

11th Global Congress on Manufacturing and Management GCMM 2012

has been extended to 31 March 2012.

You are cordially invited to submit a paper and be a part of this event.

Spring stiffness of a helical spring

Once in a while I have to find the stiffness of a spring that I get from the local hardware shop.  I usually use a formula that can be found in some books on mechanics of materials.

But the assumptions bother me a bit because the springs that I used usually underwent large deformations and I wasn't sure whether the numbers I was using were correct or not.  

To check the formula I compared its predicted k to numbers from Abaqus simulations and found reasonably good results for many situations - but not for soft springs.


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