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Über dieses Buch

This volume contains the thoroughly refereed post-conference proceedings of the Second International Conference on Exascale Applications and Software, EASC 2014, held in Stockholm, Sweden, in April 2014.

The 6 full papers presented together with 6 short papers were carefully reviewed and selected from 17 submissions. They are organized in two topical sections named: toward exascale scientific applications and development environment for exascale applications.



Towards Exascale Scientific Applications


Tackling Exascale Software Challenges in Molecular Dynamics Simulations with GROMACS

GROMACS is a widely used package for biomolecular simulation, and over the last two decades it has evolved from small-scale efficiency to advanced heterogeneous acceleration and multi-level parallelism targeting some of the largest supercomputers in the world. Here, we describe some of the ways we have been able to realize this through the use of parallelization on all levels, combined with a constant focus on absolute performance. Release 4.6 of GROMACS uses SIMD acceleration on a wide range of architectures, GPU offloading acceleration, and both OpenMP and MPI parallelism within and between nodes, respectively. The recent work on acceleration made it necessary to revisit the fundamental algorithms of molecular simulation, including the concept of neighborsearching, and we discuss the present and future challenges we see for exascale simulation - in particular a very fine-grained task parallelism. We also discuss the software management, code peer review and continuous integration testing required for a project of this complexity.

Szilárd Páll, Mark James Abraham, Carsten Kutzner, Berk Hess, Erik Lindahl

Weighted Decomposition in High-Performance Lattice-Boltzmann Simulations: Are Some Lattice Sites More Equal than Others?

Obtaining a good load balance is a significant challenge in scaling up lattice-Boltzmann simulations of realistic sparse problems to the exascale. Here we analyze the effect of weighted decomposition on the performance of the HemeLB lattice-Boltzmann simulation environment, when applied to sparse domains. Prior to domain decomposition, we assign wall and in/outlet sites with increased weights which reflect their increased computational cost. We combine our weighted decomposition with a second optimization, which is to sort the lattice sites according to a space filling curve. We tested these strategies on a sparse bifurcation and very sparse aneurysm geometry, and find that using weights reduces calculation load imbalance by up to 85 %, although the overall communication overhead is higher than some of our runs.

Derek Groen, David Abou Chacra, Rupert W. Nash, Jiri Jaros, Miguel O. Bernabeu, Peter V. Coveney

Performance Analysis of a Reduced Data Movement Algorithm for Neutron Cross Section Data in Monte Carlo Simulations

Current Monte Carlo neutron transport applications use continuous energy cross section data to provide the statistical foundation for particle trajectories. This “classical” algorithm requires storage and random access of very large data structures. Recently, Forget et al. [


] reported on a fundamentally new approach, based on multipole expansions, that distills cross section data down to a more abstract mathematical format. Their formulation greatly reduces memory storage and improves data locality at the cost of also increasing floating point computation. In the present study, we abstract the multipole representation into a “proxy application”, which we then use to determine the hardware performance parameters of the algorithm relative to the classical continuous energy algorithm. This study is done to determine the viability of both algorithms on current and next-generation high performance computing platforms.

John R. Tramm, Andrew R. Siegel, Benoit Forget, Colin Josey

Nek5000 with OpenACC

Nek5000 is a computational fluid dynamics code based on the spectral element method used for the simulation of incompressible flows. We follow up on an earlier study which ported the simplified version of Nek5000 to a GPU-accelerated system by presenting the hybrid CPU/GPU implementation of the full Nek5000 code using OpenACC. The matrix-matrix multiplication, the Nek5000 gather-scatter operator and a preconditioned Conjugate Gradient solver have implemented using OpenACC for multi-GPU systems. We report an speed-up of 1.3 on single node of a Cray XK6 when using OpenACC directives in Nek5000. On 512 nodes of the Titan supercomputer, the speed-up can be approached to 1.4. A performance analysis of the Nek5000 code using Score-P and Vampir performance monitoring tools shows that overlapping of GPU kernels with host-accelerator memory transfers would considerably increase the performance of the OpenACC version of Nek5000 code.

Jing Gong, Stefano Markidis, Michael Schliephake, Erwin Laure, Dan Henningson, Philipp Schlatter, Adam Peplinski, Alistair Hart, Jens Doleschal, David Henty, Paul Fischer

Auto-tuning an OpenACC Accelerated Version of Nek5000

Accelerators and, in particular, Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) have emerged as promising computing technologies which may be suitable for the future Exascale systems. However, the complexity of their architectures and the impenetrable structure of some large applications makes the hand-tuning algorithms process more challenging and unproductive. On the contrary, auto-tuning technology has appeared as a solution to this problems since it can address the inherent complexity of the latest and future computer architectures. By auto-tuning, an application may be optimised for a target platform by making automated optimal choices. To exploit this technology on modern GPUs, we have created an auto-tuned version of Nek5000 based on OpenACC directives which has demonstrated to obtained improved results over a hand-tune optimised version of the same computation kernels. This paper focuses on a particular role for auto-tuning Nek5000 to utilise a massively parallel GPU accelerated system based on OpenACC directive to adapt the Nek5000 code for the Exascale computation.

Luis Cebamanos, David Henty, Harvey Richardson, Alistair Hart

Development Environment for Exascale Applications


Towards Exascale Co-design in a Runtime System

Achieving the performance potential of an Exascale machine depends on realizing both operational efficiency and scalability in high performance computing applications. This requirement has motivated the emergence of several new programming models which emphasize fine and medium grain task parallelism in order to address the aggravating effects of asynchrony at scale. The performance modeling of Exascale systems for these programming models requires the development of fundamentally new approaches due to the demands of both scale and complexity. This work presents a performance modeling case study of the Livermore Unstructured Lagrangian Explicit Shock Hydrodynamics (LULESH) proxy application where the performance modeling approach has been incorporated directly into a runtime system with two modalities of operation: computation and performance modeling simulation. The runtime system exposes performance sensitivies and projects operation to larger scales while also realizing the benefits of removing global barriers and extracting more parallelism from LULESH. Comparisons between the computation and performance modeling simulation results are presented.

Thomas Sterling, Matthew Anderson, P. Kevin Bohan, Maciej Brodowicz, Abhishek Kulkarni, Bo Zhang

Overcoming Asynchrony: An Analysis of the Effects of Asynchronous Noise on Nearest Neighbor Synchronizations

A simple model of noise with an adjustable level of


is presented. The model is used to generate synthetic noise traces in the presence of a representative bulk synchronous, nearest neighbor time stepping algorithm. The resulting performance of the algorithm is measured and compared to the performance of the algorithm in the presence of Gaussian distributed noise. The results empirically illustrate that asynchrony is a dominant mechanism by which many types of computational noise degrade the performance of bulk-synchronous algorithms, whether or not their macroscopic noise distributions are constant or random.

Adam Hammouda, Andrew Siegel, Stephen Siegel

Memory Usage Optimizations for Online Event Analysis

Tools are essential for application developers and system support personnel during tasks such as performance optimization and debugging of massively parallel applications. An important class are event-based tools that analyze relevant events during the runtime of an application, e.g., function invocations or communication operations. We develop a parallel tools infrastructure that supports both the observation and analysis of application events at runtime. Some analyses—e.g., deadlock detection algorithms—require complex processing and apply to many types of frequently occurring events. For situations where the rate at which an application generates new events exceeds the processing rate of the analysis, we experience tool instability or even failures, e.g., memory exhaustion. Tool infrastructures must provide means to avoid or mitigate such situations. This paper explores two such techniques: first, a heuristic that selects events to receive and process next; second, a


mechanism that temporarily suspends the execution of an application. An application study with applications from the SPEC MPI2007 benchmark suite and the NAS parallel benchmarks evaluates these techniques at up to


processes and illustrates how they avoid memory exhaustion problems that limited the applicability of a runtime correctness tool in the past.

Tobias Hilbrich, Joachim Protze, Michael Wagner, Matthias S. Müller, Martin Schulz, Bronis R. de Supinski, Wolfgang E. Nagel

Towards Detailed Exascale Application Analysis — Selective Monitoring and Visualisation

We introduce novel ideas involving aspect-oriented instrumentation, Multi-Faceted Program Monitoring, as well as novel techniques for a selective and detailed event-based application performance analysis, with an eye toward exascale. We give special attention to the spatial, temporal, and level-of-detail aspects of the three important phases of compile-time filtering, application execution, and runtime filtering. We use an event-based monitoring approach to allow selected and focused performance analysis.

Jens Doleschal, Thomas William, Bert Wesarg, Johannes Ziegenbalg, Holger Brunst, Andreas Knüpfer, Wolfgang E. Nagel

Performance Analysis of Irregular Collective Communication with the Crystal Router Algorithm

In order to achieve exascale performance it is important to detect potential bottlenecks and identify strategies to overcome them. For this, both applications and system software must be analysed and potentially improved. The EU FP7 project

Collaborative Research into Exascale Systemware, Tools & Applications

(CRESTA) chose the approach to co-design advanced simulation applications and system software as well as development tools. In this paper, we present the results of a co-design activity focused on the simulation code NEK5000 that aims at performance improvements of collective communication operations. We have analysed the algorithms that form the core of NEK5000’s communication module in order to assess its viability on recent computer architectures before starting to improve its performance. Our results show that the crystal router algorithm performs well in sparse, irregular collective operations for medium and large processor number but improvements for even larger system sizes of the future will be needed. We sketch the needed improvements, which will make the communication algorithms also beneficial for other applications that need to implement latency-dominated communication schemes with short messages. The latency-optimised communication operations will also become used in a runtime-system providing dynamic load balancing, under development within CRESTA.

Michael Schliephake, Erwin Laure

The Architecture of Vistle, a Scalable Distributed Visualization System

Vistle is a scalable distributed implementation of the visualization pipeline. Modules are realized as MPI processes on a cluster. Within a node, different modules communicate via shared memory. TCP is used for communication between clusters.

Vistle targets especially interactive visualization in immersive virtual environments. For low latency, a combination of parallel remote and local rendering is possible.

Martin Aumüller


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