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Understanding the behaviour of High Performance Computing (HPC) systems is a challenging task due to the large number of processes they involve as well as the complex interactions among these processes. In this paper, we present a novel approach that aims to simplify the analysis of large execution traces generated from HPC applications. We achieve this through a technique that allows semiautomatic extraction of execution phases from large traces. These phases, which characterize the main computations of the traced scenario, can be used by software engineers to browse the content of a trace at different levels of abstraction. Our approach is based on the application of information theory principles to the analysis of sequences of communication patterns found in HPC traces. The results of the proposed approach when applied to traces of a large HPC industrial system demonstrate its effectiveness in identifying the main program phases and their corresponding sub-phases.
Date of Conference: 11-13 June 2012