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We evaluate optimized parallel sparse matrix-vector operations for two representative application areas on widespread multicore-based cluster configurations. First the single-socket baseline performance is analyzed and modeled with respect to basic architectural properties of standard multicore chips. Going beyond the single node, parallel sparse matrix-vector operations often suffer from an unfavorable communication to computation ratio. Starting from the observation that nonblocking MPI is not able to hide communication cost using standard MPI implementations, we demonstrate that explicit overlap of communication and computation can be achieved by using a dedicated communication thread, which may run on a virtual core. We compare our approach to pure MPI and the widely used "vector-like'' hybrid programming strategy.
Date of Conference: 16-20 May 2011