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Accurately measuring MPI broadcasts in a computational grid

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2 Author(s)
de Supinski, B.R. ; Center for Appl. Sci. Comput., Lawrence Livermore Nat. Lab., CA, USA ; Karonis, N.T.

An MPI library's implementation of broadcast communication can significantly affect the performance of applications built with that library. In order to choose between similar implementations or to evaluate available libraries, accurate measurements of broadcast performance are required. As we demonstrate, existing methods for measuring broadcast performance are either inaccurate or inadequate. Fortunately, we have designed an accurate method for measuring broadcast performance, even in a challenging grid environment. Measuring broadcast performance is not easy. Simply sending one broadcast after another allows them to proceed through the network concurrently, thus resulting in inaccurate per broadcast timings. Existing methods either fail to eliminate this pipelining effect or eliminate it by introducing overheads that are as difficult to measure as the performance of the broadcast itself. This problem becomes even more challenging in grid environments. Latencies along different links can vary significantly. Thus, an algorithm's performance is difficult to predict from it's communication pattern. Even when accurate prediction is possible, the pattern is often unknown. Our method introduces a measurable overhead to eliminate the pipelining effect, regardless of variations in link latencies

Published in:

High Performance Distributed Computing, 1999. Proceedings. The Eighth International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

1999

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