An overview of the trilinos project

Michael A. Heroux, Roscoe A. Bartlett, Vicki E. Howle, Robert J. Hoekstra, J. Jonathan Hu, Tamara G. Kolda, Richard B. Lehoucq, Kevin R. Long, Roger P. Pawlowski, Eric T. Phipps, Andrew G. Salinger, Heidi K. Thornquist, Ray S. Tuminaro, James M. Willenbring, Alan Williams, Kendall S. Stanley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

729 Scopus citations


The Trilinos Project is an effort to facilitate the design, development, integration, and ongoing support of mathematical software libraries within an object-oriented framework for the solution of large-scale, complex multiphysics engineering and scientific problems. Trilinos addresses two fundamental issues of developing software for these problems: (i) providing a streamlined process and set of tools for development of new algorithmic implementations and (ii) promoting interoperability of independently developed software. Trilinos uses a two-level software structure designed around collections of packages. A Trilinos package is an integral unit usually developed by a small team of experts in a particular algorithms area such as algebraic preconditioners, nonlinear solvers, etc. Packages exist underneath the Trilinos top level, which provides a common look-and-feel, including configuration, documentation, licensing, and bug-tracking. Here we present the overall Trilinos design, describing our use of abstract interfaces and default concrete implementations. We discuss the services that Trilinos provides to a prospective package and how these services are used by various packages. We also illustrate how packages can be combined to rapidly develop new algorithms. Finally, we discuss how Trilinos facilitates high-quality software engineering practices that are increasingly required from simulation software.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-423
Number of pages27
JournalACM Transactions on Mathematical Software
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


  • Interfaces
  • Software framework
  • Software quality engineering


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