Research code dockSIM

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Idea | Target Group

The research code dockSIM was designed as a development environment for an interface-based implementation of numerical methods (for the class of discretization methods). The focus is on numerical methods for solving nonlinear and strongly nonlinear problems. Besides the established methods (e.g. FEM) as well as their extensions, new and novel numerical methods are meant, which cannot be implemented in existing "single-method research codes" or only with great effort. In addition, different numerical methods can also be combined or coupled with each other in dockSIM.

With the research code dockSIM, scientists are provided with a platform that makes it possible to develop, implement and test new numerical methods as quickly and easily as possible.

Libraries | Extensibility

With the overarching goal of a very highly modularized research code, the concept of libraries was already consistently implemented during the conceptual design of the code. The flexibility of the provided interfaces makes it possible to implement even far-reaching code extensions on the level of "normal" user interfaces. Beside the usual e.g. from the context of the FE codes well-known interfaces for the integration of own element formulations (UserElement) and own constitutive equations (UserMaterial), dockSIM makes still another multiplicity of further libraries available. These include a special library for embedding novel numerical methods.

Independently of it extensive mathematical functions can be fallen back with the extension of the code, which are made available among other things also over merged external mathematical libraries (e.g. MKL of Intel).

Programming language

The source code of the research code was divided into 13 individual projects, with 12 projects programmed in C and 1 project in C++. The code is tested with different compilers (Intel, Gnu, Microsoft) and managed with the version control Git.

History | Developer Team

Since 2010, the research code dockSIM has been developed or enhanced in the respective working groups of Prof. Wackerfuß. The main developers were or are Jens Wackerfuß (since 2010), Jonas Marczona (2010-2016), Florian Niederhöfer (2010-2016) and Jonas Boungard (since 2015). Scientists from the fields of numerical mechanics, mathematics and computer science were or are involved in the development so far.


The development of the research code dockSIM would not have been possible without financial support. Our special thanks go to the German Research Foundation for project funding within the framework of the Emmy-Noether Young Investigators Group. We received or receive further support through basic funding from the Technical University of Darmstadt and the University of Kassel, respectively.


The research code is planned as an "open-source project". For resource-related reasons, this philosophy is currently not fully implemented. It is our interest that the research code is also used and further developed by other scientists. These further developments should then generally also be included in the basic version administered by us, so that other scientists can also profit from them.


The basic concept of the research code dockSIM as well as information about the structure and the data structure are currently summarized in a publication.


In irregular intervals (and on demand) the development team offers so called "dockSIM seminars" for beginners and advanced users.


If you are curious, want to learn more about dockSIM or have any questions, feel free to contact us or send us an email to: