Advances in the application of the divide-and-conquer algorithm to multibody system dynamics

Jeremy J. Laflin, Kurt S. Anderson, Imad M. Khan, Mohammad Poursina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This paper summarizes the various recent advancements achieved by utilizing the divide-and-conquer algorithm (DCA) to reduce the computational burden associated with many aspects of modeling, designing, and simulating articulated multibody systems. This basic algorithm provides a framework to realize O(n) computational complexity for serial task scheduling. Furthermore, the framework of this algorithm easily accommodates parallel task scheduling, which results in coarse-grain O(log n) computational complexity. This is a significant increase in efficiency over forming and solving the Newton-Euler equations directly. A survey of the notable previous work accomplished, though not all inclusive, is provided to give a more complete understanding of how this algorithm has been used in this context. These advances include applying the DCA to constrained systems, flexible bodies, sensitivity analysis, contact, and hybridization with other methods. This work reproduces the basic mathematical framework for applying the DCA in each of these applications. The reader is referred to the original work for the details of the discussed methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041003
JournalJournal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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