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Performance characterization of de novo genome assembly on leading parallel systems


De novo genome assembly is one of the most important and challenging computational problems in modern genomics; further, it shares algorithms and communication patterns important to other graph analytic and irregular applications. Unlike simulations, it has no floating point arithmetic and is dominated by small memory transactions within and between computing nodes. In this work, we focus on the highly scalable HipMer assembler and identify the dominant algorithms and communication patterns, also using microbenchmarks to capture the workload. We evaluate HipMer on a variety of platforms from the latest HPC systems to ethernet clusters. HipMer performs well on all single node systems, including the Xeon Phi manycore architecture. Given large enough problems, it also demonstrates excellent scaling across nodes in an HPC system, but requires a high speed network with low overhead and high injection rates. Our results shed light on the architectural features that are most important for achieving good parallel efficiency on this and related problems.

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