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The Evaluation of an Effective Out-of-Core Run-Time System in the Context of Parallel Mesh Generation

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3 Author(s)
Kot, A. ; Comput. Sci. Dept., Coll. of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA ; Chernikov, A.N. ; Chrisochoides, N.P.

We present an out-of-core run-time system that supports effective parallel computation of large irregular and adaptive problems, in particular unstructured mesh generation (PUMG). PUMG is a highly challenging application due to intensive memory accesses, unpredictable communication patterns, and variable and irregular data dependencies reflecting the unstructured spatial connectivity of mesh elements. Our runtime system allows to transform the footprint of parallel applications from wide and shallow into narrow and deep by extending the memory utilization to the out-of-core level. It simplifies and streamlines the development of otherwise highly time consuming out-of-core applications as well as the converting of existing applications. It utilizes disk, network and memory hierarchy to achieve high utilization of computing resources without sacrificing performance with PUMG. The runtime system combines different programming paradigms: multi-threading within the nodes using industrial strength software framework, one-sided active messages among the nodes, and an out-of-core subsystem for managing large datasets. We performed an evaluation on traditional parallel platforms to stress test all layers of the run-time system using three different PUMG methods with significantly varying communication and synchronization patterns. We demonstrated high overlap in computation, communication, and disk I/O which results in good performance when computing large out-of-core problems. The runtime system adds very small overhead (up to 18% on most configurations) when computing in-core which means performance is not compromised.

Published in:

Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS), 2011 IEEE International

Date of Conference:

16-20 May 2011