Moose: An Open-Source Framework to Enable Rapid Development of Collaborative, Multi-Scale, Multi-Physics Simulation Tools

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Andrew E Slaughter, Cody Permann, John W Peterson, Derek Gaston, David Andrs and Jason Miller, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID, United States
The Idaho National Laboratory (INL)-developed Multiphysics Object Oriented Simulation Environment (MOOSE;, is an open-source, parallel computational framework for enabling the solution of complex, fully implicit multiphysics systems. MOOSE provides a set of computational tools that scientists and engineers can use to create sophisticated multiphysics simulations. Applications built using MOOSE have computed solutions for chemical reaction and transport equations, computational fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, heat conduction, mesoscale materials modeling, geomechanics, and others.

To facilitate the coupling of diverse and highly-coupled physical systems, MOOSE employs the Jacobian-free Newton-Krylov (JFNK) method when solving the coupled nonlinear systems of equations arising in multiphysics applications. The MOOSE framework is written in C++, and leverages other high-quality, open-source scientific software packages such as LibMesh, Hypre, and PETSc. MOOSE uses a “hybrid parallel” model which combines both shared memory (thread-based) and distributed memory (MPI-based) parallelism to ensure efficient resource utilization on a wide range of computational hardware.

MOOSE-based applications are inherently modular, which allows for simulation expansion (via coupling of additional physics modules) and the creation of multi-scale simulations. Any application developed with MOOSE supports running (in parallel) any other MOOSE-based application. Each application can be developed independently, yet easily communicate with other applications (e.g., conductivity in a slope-scale model could be a constant input, or a complete phase-field micro-structure simulation) without additional code being written. This method of development has proven effective at INL and expedites the development of sophisticated, sustainable, and collaborative simulation tools.