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5 ahallam 2411 %
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15 gross 2605 \section{Why \esc?}
16 caltinay 2982 \esc is a scripting environment for mathematical modelling based on partial
17 ahallam 2979 differential equations (PDEs). It provides a high-level of abstraction from the
18     underlying numerical schemes and their implementations. By freeing the user from
19     considerations like data constructs, meshing and parallelisation, the user can
20     concentrate on the modelling aspects of the problem and still properly utilise
21     the powerful mathematical capabilities of PDEs.
22 ahallam 2411
23 ahallam 2979 \esc is built upon the interpreted programming language \pyt\footnote{see
24 caltinay 2982 \url{www.python.org}}, a scripting language with many intrinsic functions and
25 ahallam 2979 capabilities. Additionally, there are also a large number of software packages
26     for \pyt which can be used in conjunction with \esc. These packages include
27     functions and data constructs for linear algebra, statistics, visualisation,
28     image processing and data plotting among others. Furthermore, most \esc scripts
29     are scalable and able to run on single core desktop computers right through to
30     multi-core supercomputers\footnote{\esc supports distributed memory
31     architectures with multi-core processors through MPI and threading. See the \esc
32     user guide at \url{https://launchpad.net/escript-finley/+download} for details.}
33     with no modifications to the scripts.
34 ahallam 2411
35 ahallam 2979 There are many benefits for using a software platform like \esc for projects
36 caltinay 2982 that involve mathematical modelling. Building on top of an existing environment
37     such as \esc is in many cases much simpler and more cost effective than
38     building an original implementation from the ground up. A modelling environment
39     needs data structures and solution algorithms which take time to develop and
40     test properly, \esc has already covered these aspects and its implementation
41     has been widely tested for bugs. Although existing environments may not provide
42     the user with the fastest algorithms for their problems, it is generally the
43     case, that the overall time needed to identify, implement and test the optimal
44     algorithm will exceed the time needed to implement and solve the problem with
45     pre-developed and tested software. This is particularly true if a simulation
46     does not need to be executed repetitively, or has relatively short lifetime.
47     A model for a publication or thesis would be one such instance.
48 gross 2605
49 caltinay 2982 When it comes to solving partial differential equations, \esc is ideal as it is
50 ahallam 2979 especially designed for this task. Other implementations are merely an add-on to
51     a linear algebra focused system (\textit{e.g.} MATLAB). The \esc approach gives
52     the user a cleaner environment to work with and provides better efficiency when
53     dealing with PDE coefficients. Data structures in \esc allow the user to
54 caltinay 2982 abstract away details such as data types of these coefficients. For example, if
55     a model has been tested with a constant PDE coefficient then the unchanged
56 ahallam 2979 script can be run with variable coefficients from a database or as a function of
57     a dependent variable. This capability of \esc is possible because \esc uses the
58     language of PDEs (as opposed to linear algebra) to describe a model. As it turns
59     out, the \esc approach can be applied efficiently in very large software
60     projects as it leads to a clearer structure for the code, by separating
61     modelling issues from low-level numerical and computational performance issues.
62     At the same time, this arrangement also allows for the implementation of complex
63     model coupling on a higher-level.
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65 caltinay 2982 The use of \pyt as the platform for \esc makes the development of models simple
66     from a user perspective, as \pyt is intuitive and easy to learn. This simplicity
67 ahallam 2979 does not hamper experienced users either as \pyt also provides access to a very
68     large number of tools. This makes it an attractive environment to work in. Best
69     of all, \esc is released under an open software license and is freely available
70     for download.
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72 ahallam 2634 \section{How to use this Cookbook}
73 ahallam 2979 This manual is written with the intention of giving new users a practical
74     introduction to \esc. It demonstrates how to solve a variety of problems from
75     simple to advanced. We recommend that new users work through the
76 caltinay 2982 \textit{first few sets of examples} in Chapters \ref{CHAP HEAT DIFF},
77 ahallam 2979 \ref{CHAP HEAT 2a} and \ref{CHAP HEAT 2}).
78     These chapters contain the necessary basic knowledge, and explain some of the
79     common aspects and modules of \esc. The simple examples demonstrate how to
80 caltinay 2982 create, solve and visualise PDE based models.
81 ahallam 2979 Future chapters (as they are added to this tutorial) will cover more advanced
82     topics with more complex models and methods. Further examples are available in
83     the \esc user guide.
84 ahallam 2634
85 ahallam 2979 All examples covered in this cookbook have been scripted and are ready to run.
86     They are available from the \exf folder in the \esc directory. These scripts
87     provide a basis for users to develop their own models while at the same time
88     demonstrating the steps required to completely solve and visualise the PDE
89     problems.
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91 ahallam 2979 % All of the examples in this cookbook have been developed on a Linux based
92 caltinay 2982 % operating system.
93 ahallam 2979 % Unfortunately Windows and Mac support cannot be guaranteed. However, in most
94 caltinay 2982 % cases minor modifications to the scripts will generally solve any problems.
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96 gross 2605 \input{quickstart}
97 ahallam 2634 \input{escpybas}

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