In order to solve these problems efficiently, both in terms of execution time and storage requirments, complicated storage management and data structures are required. However, it is undesirable to have to understand the sophisticated techniques employed if the primary objective is simply to solve the sparse matrix problem. A novel feature of the SPARSPAK package is that it employs a set of user interface subroutines that effectively insulate the user from the complicated internal structures.
Techniques for solving sparse system depend very much on certain methods for preordering the equations so that they suffer low "fill-in" during the computation. Methods for finding good orderings are sensitive to problem class. Another feature of the package is that it provides a variety of different ordering algorithms.
The package also has extensive error detection features, a statistics gathering capability, and a checkpoint/restart facility.
The package is available in single and double ANSII standard versions, as well as versions that exploit short integer features available in some versions of FORTRAN.
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