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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Resource-Efficient, Hierarchical Auto-Tuning of a Hybrid Lattice Boltzmann Computation on the Cray XT4


We apply auto-tuning to a hybrid MPI-pthreads lattice Boltzmann computation running on the Cray XT4 at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Previous work showed that multicore-specific auto-tuning can improve the performance of lattice Boltzmann magnetohydrodynamics (LBMHD) by a factor of 4x when running on dual- and quad-core Opteron dual-socket SMPs. We extend these studies to the distributed memory arena via a hybrid MPI/pthreads implementation. In addition to conventional auto-tuning at the local SMP node, we tune at the message-passing level to determine the optimal aspect ratio as well as the correct balance between MPI tasks and threads per MPI task. Our study presents a detailed performance analysis when moving along an isocurve of constant hardware usage: fixed total memory, total cores, and total nodes. Overall, our work points to approaches for improving intra- and inter-node efficiency on large-scale multicore systems for demanding scientific applications.

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