Section: New Results

Integration of High Performance Computing and Data Analytics

I/O Survey

First contribution is a comprehensive survey on parallel I/O in the HPC context [14]. As the available processing power and amount of data increase, I/O remains a central issue for the scientific community. This survey focuses on a traditional I/O stack, with a POSIX parallel file system. Through the comprehensive study of publications from the most important conferences and journals in a five-year time window, we discuss the state of the art of I/O optimization approaches, access pattern extraction techniques, and performance modeling, in addition to general aspects of parallel I/O research. This survey enables us to identify the general characteristics of the field and the main current and future research topics.

Task Based In Situ Processing

One approach to bypass the I/O bottleneck is in situ processing, an important research topic at DataMove. The in situ paradigm proposes to reduce data movement and to analyze data while still resident in the memory of the compute node by co-locating simulation and analytics on the same compute node. The simplest approach consists in modifying the simulation timeloop to directly call analytics routines. However, several works have shown that an asynchronous approach where analytics and simulation run concurrently can lead to a significantly better performance. Today, the most efficient approach consists in running the analytics processes on a set of dedicated cores, called helper cores, to isolate them from the simulation processes. Simulation and analytics thus run concurrently on different cores but this static isolation can lead to underused resources if the simulation or the analytics do not fully use all the assigned cores.

In this work performed in collaboration with CEA, we developed TINS, a task-based in situ framework that implements a novel dynamic helper core strategy. TINS relies on a work stealing scheduler and on task-based programming. Simulation and analytics tasks are created concurrently and scheduled on a set of worker threads created by a single instance of the work stealing scheduler. Helper cores are assigned dynamically: some worker threads are dedicated to analytics when analytics tasks are available while they join the other threads for processing simulation tasks otherwise, leading to a better resource usage. We leverage the good compositionality properties of task-based programming to seamlessly keep the analytics and simulation codes well separated and a plugin system enables to develop parallel analytics codes outside of the simulation code.

TINS is implemented with the Intel Threading Building Blocks (TBB) library that provides a task-based programming model and a work stealing scheduler. The experiments are conducted with the hybrid MPI+TBB ExaStamp molecular dynamics code that we associate with a set of analytics representative of computational physics algorithms. We show up to 40% performance improvement over various other approaches, including the standard helper core, on experiments on up to 14,336 Broadwell cores.

Stream Processing

Stream processing is the Big Data equivalent of in situ processing. It consists in analyzing on-line incoming streams of data, often produced from sensors or social networks like Twitter. We investigated the convergence between both paradigms through different directions: how the programming environment developed specifically for stream processing can applied to the data produced by large parallel simulations [18]; Proposing a dynamics data structure to keep sorted data streams [12]; Evaluating the performance of the FlameMR framework on data produced from a parallel simulation[13]. We summarize here the 2 first contributions.

Packed Memory QuadTree.

Over the past years, several in-memory big-data management systems have appeared in academia and industry. In-memory databases systems avoid the overheads related to traditional I/O disk-based systems and have made possible to perform interactive data-analysis over large amounts of data. A vast literature of systems and research strategies deals with different aspects, such as the limited storage size and a multi-level memory-hierarchy of caches. Maintaining the right data layout that favors locality of accesses is a determinant factor for the performance of in-memory processing systems. Stream processing engines like Spark or Flink support the concept of window, which collects the latest events without a specific data organization. It is possible to trigger the analysis upon the occurrence of a given criterion (time, volume, specific event occurrence). After a window is updated, the system shifts the processing to the next batch of events. There is a need to go one step further to keep a live window continuously updated while having a fine grain data replacement policy to control the memory footprint. The challenge is the design of dynamic data structures to absorb high rate data streams, stash away the oldest data to stay in the allowed memory budget while enabling fast queries executions to update visual representations. A possible solution is the extension of database structures like R-trees used in SpatiaLite or PostGis, or to develop dedicated frameworks like Kit based on a pyramid structure.

We developed a novel self-organized cache-oblivious data structure, called PMQ, for in-memory storage and indexing of fixed length records tagged with a spatiotemporal index. We store the data in an array with a controlled density of gaps (i.e., empty slots) that benefits from the properties of the Packed Memory Arrays. The empty slots guarantee that insertions can be performed with a low amortized number of data movements (𝑂(log2(N))) while enabling efficient spatiotemporal queries. During insertions, we rebalance parts of the array when required to respect density constraints, and the oldest data is stashed away when reaching the memory budget. To spatially subdivide the data, we sort the records according to their Morton index, thus ensuring spatial locality in the array while defining an implicit, recursive quadtree, which leads to efficient spatiotemporal queries. We validate PMQ for consuming a stream of tweets to answer visual and range queries. PMQ significantly outperforms the widely adopted spatial indexing data structure R-tree, typically used by relational databases, as well as the conjunction of Geohash and B+-tree, typically used by NoSQL databases.

Flink based in situ Processing.

We proposed to leverage Apache Flink, a scalable stream processing engine from the Big Data domain, in this HPC context. Flink enables to program analyses within a simple window based map/reduce model, while the runtime takes care of the deployment, load balancing and fault tolerance. We build a complete in transit analytics workflow, connecting an MD simulation to Apache Flink and to a distributed database, Apache HBase, to persist all the desired data. To demonstrate the expressivity of this programming model and its suitability for HPC scientific environments, two common analytics in the Molecular Dynamics field have been implemented. We assessed the performance of this framework, concluding that it can handle simulations of sizes used in the literature while providing an effective and versatile tool for scientists to easily incorporate on-line parallel analytics in their current workflows.