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Section: New Results

HPC Application Analysis and Visualization

  • Programming paradigms in High-Performance Computing have been shifting towards task-based models which are capable of adapting readily to heterogeneous and scalable supercomputers. The performance of task-based application heavily depends on the runtime scheduling heuristics and on its ability to exploit computing and communication resources. Unfortunately, the traditional performance analysis strategies are unfit to fully understand task-based runtime systems and applications: they expect a regular behavior with communication and computation phases, while task-based applications demonstrate no clear phases. Moreover, the finer granularity of task-based applications typically induces a stochastic behavior that leads to irregular structures that are difficult to analyze. Furthermore, the combination of application structure, scheduler, and hardware information is generally essential to understand performance issues. The papers [36], [6] presents a flexible framework that enables one to combine several sources of information and to create custom visualization panels allowing to understand and pinpoint performance problems incurred by bad scheduling decisions in task-based applications. Three case-studies using StarPU-MPI, a task-based multi-node runtime system, are detailed to show how our framework can be used to study the performance of the well-known Cholesky factorization. Performance improvements include a better task partitioning among the multi-(GPU,core) to get closer to theoretical lower bounds, improved MPI pipelining in multi-(node,core,GPU) to reduce the slow start, and changes in the runtime system to increase MPI bandwidth, with gains of up to 13% in the total makespan.

  • In the context of multi-physics simulations on unstructured and heterogeneous meshes, generating well-balanced partitions is not trivial. The computing cost per mesh element in different phases of the simulation depends on various factors such as its type, its connectivity with neighboring elements or its layout in memory with respect to them, which determines the data locality. Moreover, if different types of discretization methods or computing devices are combined, the performance variability across the domain increases. Due to all these factors, evaluate a representative computing cost per mesh element, to generate well-balanced partitions, is a difficult task. Nonetheless, load balancing is a critical aspect of the efficient use of extreme scale systems since idle-times can represent a huge waste of resources, particularly when a single process delays the overall simulation. In this context, we present in [16] some improvements carried out on an in-house geometric mesh partitioner based on the Hilbert Space-Filling Curve. We have previously tested its effectiveness by partitioning meshes with up to 30 million elements in a few tenths of milliseconds using up to 4096 CPU cores, and we have leveraged its performance to develop an autotuning approach to adjust the load balancing according to runtime measurements. In this paper, we address the problem of having different load distributions in different phases of the simulation, particularly in the matrix assembly and in the solution of the linear system. We consider a multi-partition approach to ensure a proper load balance in all the phases. The initial results presented show the potential of this strategy.