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GVT algorithms and discrete event dynamics on 129K+ processor cores

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3 Author(s)
Kalyan S. Perumalla ; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA ; Alfred J. Park ; Vinod Tipparaju

Parallel discrete event simulation (PDES) represents a class of codes that are challenging to scale to large number of processors due to tight global timestamp-ordering and fine-grained event execution. One of the critical factors in scaling PDES is the efficiency of the underlying global virtual time (GVT) algorithm needed for correctness of parallel execution and speed of progress. Although many GVT algorithms have been proposed previously, few have been proposed for scalable asynchronous execution and none customized to exploit one-sided communication. Moreover, the detailed performance effects of actual GVT algorithm implementations on large platforms are unknown. Here, three major GVT algorithms intended for scalable execution on high-performance systems are studied: (1) a synchronous GVT algorithm that affords ease of implementation, (2) an asynchronous GVT algorithm that is more complex to implement but can relieve blocking latencies, and (3) a variant of the asynchronous GVT algorithm, proposed and studied for the first time here, to exploit one-sided communication in extant supercomputing platforms. Performance results are presented of implementations of these algorithms on up to 129,024 cores of a Cray XT5 system, exercised on a range of parameters: optimistic and conservative synchronization, fine-to medium-grained event computation, synthetic and non-synthetic applications, and different lookahead values. Performance to the tune of tens of billions of events executed per second are registered, exceeding the speeds of any known PDES engine, and showing asynchronous GVT algorithms to outperform state-of-the-art synchronous GVT algorithms. Detailed PDES-specific runtime metrics are presented to further the understanding of tightly-coupled discrete event dynamics on massively parallel platforms.

Published in:

2011 18th International Conference on High Performance Computing

Date of Conference:

18-21 Dec. 2011