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Parallel Computational Steering for HPC Applications Using HDF5 Files in Distributed Shared Memory

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5 Author(s)
Biddiscombe, J. ; Swiss Nat. Supercomput. Centre, Manno, Switzerland ; Soumagne, J. ; Oger, G. ; Guibert, D.
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Interfacing a GUI driven visualization/analysis package to an HPC application enables a supercomputer to be used as an interactive instrument. We achieve this by replacing the IO layer in the HDF5 library with a custom driver which transfers data in parallel between simulation and analysis. Our implementation using ParaView as the interface, allows a flexible combination of parallel simulation, concurrent parallel analysis, and GUI client, either on the same or separate machines. Each MPI job may use different core counts or hardware configurations, allowing fine tuning of the amount of resources dedicated to each part of the workload. By making use of a distributed shared memory file, one may read data from the simulation, modify it using ParaView pipelines, write it back, to be reused by the simulation (or vice versa). This allows not only simple parameter changes, but complete remeshing of grids, or operations involving regeneration of field values over the entire domain. To avoid the problem of manually customizing the GUI for each application that is to be steered, we make use of XML templates that describe outputs from the simulation (and inputs back to it) to automatically generate GUI controls for manipulation of the simulation.

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Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 6 )