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read_restart command

Syntax:

read_restart file keyword args ... 
keywords = gridcut or balance
  gridcut arg = cutoff
    cutoff = acquire ghost cells up to this far away (distance units)
  balance args = same as for balance_grid command 

Examples:

read_restart save.10000
read_restart restart.*
read_restart flow.*.%
read_restart save.10000 gridcut -1.0
read_restart save.10000 balance rcb cell 

Description:

Read in a previously saved simulation from a restart file. This allows continuation of a previous run on the same or different number of processors. Information about what is stored in a restart file is given below. Basically this operation will re-create the simulation box with all its particles, the hierarchical grid used to track particles, and surface elements embedded in the grid, all with their attributes at the point in time the information was written to the restart file by a previous simluation.

Although restart files are saved in binary format to allow exact regeneration of information, the random numbers used in the continued run will not be identical to those used if the run had been continued. Hence the new run will not be identical to the continued original run, but should be statistically similar.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Because restart files are binary, they may not be portable to other machines. SPARTA will print an error message if it cannot read a restart file for this reason.

If a restarted run is performed on the same number of processors as the original run, then the assignment of grid cells (and their particles) to processors will be the same as in the original simulation. If the processor count changes, then the assignment will necessarily be different. In particular, even if the original assignment was "clumped", meaning each processor's cells were geometrically compact, the new assignment will not be clumped; it will be "dispersed". See Section 5.8 of the manual for an explanation of clumped and dispersed grid cell assignments and their relative performance trade-offs.

Note that the restart file contains the setting for the global gridcut command. If it is >= 0.0 and the assignment of grid cells to processors is "dispersed" (as described in the preceeding paragraph), and there are surface elements defined in the restart file, an error will be triggered. This is because the read_restart command needs to mark all the grid cells as inside vs outside the defined surface and cannot do this without ghost cell information. As explained on the doc page for the global gridcut command, ghost cells cannot be setup with gridcut >= 0.0 and "dispersed" grid cells.

The solution is to use one of the two keywords listed above, either gridcut or balance. The former allows you to reset the grid cutoff to -1.0 so that ghost cells can be setup. Note however that this means each processor will own a copy of all grid cells (at least until you change it later), which may be undesirable or even impossible for large problems if it requires too much memory. The other solution is to use the balance keyword to trigger a re-balance of the grid cells to processors as soon as the read_restart command reads them in. The arguments for the balance keyword are identical to those for the balance_grid command. If you choose a balancing style that results in a "clumped" assignment, then ghost cells will be setup successfully.


Similar to how restart files are written (see the write_restart and restart commands), the restart filename can contain two wild-card characters. If a "*" appears in the filename, the directory is searched for all filenames that match the pattern where "*" is replaced with a timestep value. The file with the largest timestep value is read in. Thus, this effectively means, read the latest restart file. It's useful if you want your script to continue a run from where it left off. See the run command and its "upto" option for how to specify the run command so it doesn't need to be changed either.

If a "%" character appears in the restart filename, SPARTA expects a set of multiple files to exist. The restart and write_restart commands explain how such sets are created. Read_restart will first read a filename where "%" is replaced by "base". This file tells SPARTA how many processors created the set and how many files are in it. Read_restart then reads the additional files. For example, if the restart file was specified as save.% when it was written, then read_restart reads the files save.base, save.0, save.1, ... save.P-1, where P is the number of processors that created the restart file.

Note that P could be the total number of processors in the previous simulation, or some subset of those processors, if the fileper or nfile options were used when the restart file was written; see the restart and write_restart commands for details. The processors in the current SPARTA simulation share the work of reading these files; each reads a roughly equal subset of the files. The number of processors which created the set can be different the number of processors in the current SPARTA simulation. This can be a fast mode of input on parallel machines that support parallel I/O.


A restart file stores only the following information about a simulation, as specified by the associated commands:

No other information is stored in the restart file. Specifically, information about these simulation entities and their associated commands is NOT stored:

This means any information specified in the original input script by these commands needs to be re-specified in the restart input script, assuming the continued simulation needs the information.

Also note that many commands can be used after a restart file is read, to override a setting that was stored in the restart file. For example, the global command can be used to reset the values of its specified keywords.

In particular, take note of the following issues:

The status of time-averaging fixes, such as fix ave/time, fix ave/grid, fix ave/surf, does not carry over into the restarted run. E.g. if the ave running option is used with those commands in the original script and again specified in the restart script, the running averaged quantities do not persist into the new run.

The surf_modify command must be used in the restart script to assign surface collision models, specified by the surf_collide command, to all global boundaries of type "s", and to any surfaces contained in the restart file, as read in by the read_surf command.

If a collision model is specified in the restart script, and the collide_modify vremax or remain command is used to enable Vremax and fractional collision count to persist for many timesteps, no information about these quantities persists from the original simulation to the restarted simulation. The initial run in the restart script will re-initialize these data structures.

If a fix is used which defines custom attributes of particles, the vectors or arrays for these attributes are stored in the restart file. See the fix ambipolar command as an example; it creates a custom vector called "ionambi" and a custom array called "velambi". However, the restart script must specify the same fix before the first run command it uses, so that the same custom attributes are re-created, otherwise the custom attribute info from the restart file will be deleted.


Restrictions: none

Related commands:

read_grid, read_surf, write_restart, restart

Default: none