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PerfExpert: An Easy-to-Use Performance Diagnosis Tool for HPC Applications

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6 Author(s)
Burtscher, M. ; Inst. for Comput. Eng. & Sci., Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA ; Byoung-Do Kim ; Diamond, J. ; McCalpin, J.
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HPC systems are notorious for operating at a small fraction of their peak performance, and the ongoing migration to multi-core and multi-socket compute nodes further complicates performance optimization. The readily available performance evaluation tools require considerable effort to learn and utilize. Hence, most HPC application writers do not use them. As remedy, we have developed PerfExpert, a tool that combines a simple user interface with a sophisticated analysis engine to detect probable core, socket, and node-level performance bottlenecks in each important procedure and loop of an application. For each bottle-neck, PerfExpert provides a concise performance assessment and suggests steps that can be taken by the programmer to improve performance. These steps include compiler switches and optimization strategies with code examples. We have applied PerfExpert to several HPC production codes on the Ranger supercomputer. In all cases, it correctly identified the critical code sections and provided accurate assessments of their performance.

Published in:

High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC), 2010 International Conference for

Date of Conference:

13-19 Nov. 2010

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