Development of an oceanographic application in HPC
CovenanteeBarcelona Supercomputing Centre
Document typeMaster thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
High Performance Computing (HPC) is used for running advanced application programs efficiently, reliably, and quickly. In earlier decades, performance analysis of HPC applications was evaluated based on speed, scalability of threads, memory hierarchy. Now, it is essential to consider the energy or the power consumed by the system while executing an application. In fact, the High Power Consumption (HPC) is one of biggest problems for the High Performance Computing (HPC) community and one of the major obstacles for exascale systems design. The new generations of HPC systems intend to achieve exaflop performances and will demand even more energy to processing and cooling. Nowadays, the growth of HPC systems is limited by energy issues Recently, many research centers have focused the attention on doing an automatic tuning of HPC applications which require a wide study of HPC applications in terms of power efficiency. In this context, this paper aims to propose the study of an oceanographic application, named OceanVar, that implements Domain Decomposition based 4D Variational model (DD-4DVar), one of the most commonly used HPC applications, going to evaluate not only the classic aspects of performance but also aspects related to power efficiency in different case of studies. These work were realized at Bsc (Barcelona Supercomputing Center), Spain within the Mont-Blanc project, performing the test first on HCA server with Intel technology and then on a mini-cluster Thunder with ARM technology. In this work of thesis it was initially explained the concept of assimilation date, the context in which it is developed, and a brief description of the mathematical model 4DVAR. After this problem’s close examination, it was performed a porting from Matlab description of the problem of data-assimilation to its sequential version in C language. Secondly, after identifying the most onerous computational kernels in order of time, it has been developed a parallel version of the application with a parallel multiprocessor programming style, using the MPI (Message Passing Interface) protocol. The experiments results, in terms of performance, have shown that, in the case of running on HCA server, an Intel architecture, values of efficiency of the two most onerous functions obtained, growing the number of process, are approximately equal to 80%. In the case of running on ARM architecture, specifically on Thunder mini-cluster, instead, the trend obtained is labeled as "SuperLinear Speedup" and, in our case, it can be explained by a more efficient use of resources (cache memory access) compared with the sequential case. In the second part of this paper was presented an analysis of the some issues of this application that has impact in the energy efficiency. After a brief discussion about the energy consumption characteristics of the Thunder chip in technological landscape, through the use of a power consumption detector, the Yokogawa Power Meter, values of energy consumption of mini-cluster Thunder were evaluated in order to determine an overview on the power-to-solution of this application to use as the basic standard for successive analysis with other parallel styles. Finally, a comprehensive performance evaluation, targeted to estimate the goodness of MPI parallelization, is conducted using a suitable performance tool named Paraver, developed by BSC. Paraver is such a performance analysis and visualisation tool which can be used to analyse MPI, threaded or mixed mode programmes and represents the key to perform a parallel profiling and to optimise the code for High Performance Computing. A set of graphical representation of these statistics make it easy for a developer to identify performance problems. Some of the problems that can be easily identified are load imbalanced decompositions, excessive communication overheads and poor average floating operations per second achieved. Paraver can also report statistics based on hardware counters, which are provided by the underlying hardware. This project aimed to use Paraver configuration files to allow certain metrics to be analysed for this application. To explain in some way the performance trend obtained in the case of analysis on the mini-cluster Thunder, the tracks were extracted from various case of studies and the results achieved is what expected, that is a drastic drop of cache misses by the case ppn (process per node) = 1 to case ppn = 16. This in some way explains a more efficient use of cluster resources with an increase of the number of processes.