Virtual Institute – High Productivity Supercomputing


DFG & SNSF (2013 - 2015)

A Quick Development Path for Performance Models

The cost of running applications at exascale will be tremendous. Reducing runtime and energy consumption of a code to a minimum is therefore crucial. Moreover, many existing applications suffer from inherent scalability limitations that will prevent them from running at exascale in the first place. Current tuning practices, which rely on diagnostic experiments, have drawbacks because (i) they detect scalability problems relatively late in the development process when major effort has already been invested into an inadequate solution and (ii) they incur the extra cost of potentially numerous full-scale experiments. Analytical performance models, in contrast, allow application developers to address performance issues already during the design or prototyping phase. Unfortunately, the difficulties of creating such models combined with the lack of appropriate tool support still render performance modeling an esoteric discipline mastered only by a relatively small community of experts. The objective of this project is therefore to provide a flexible set of tools to support key activities of the performance modeling process, making this powerful methodology accessible to a wider audience of HPC application developers. The tool suite will be used to study and help improve the scalability of applications from life sciences, fluid dynamics, and particle physics.

This project is part of the DFG Priority Programme 1648 Software for Exascale Computing (SPPEXA). It includes the following partners:

  • Technische Universität Darmstadt - Laboratory for Parallel Programming
  • ETH Zurich - Institute of Computer Systems
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich - Jülich Supercomputing Centre
  • Goethe University Frankfurt - Goethe Center for Scientific Computing
  • Technische Universität Darmstadt - Institute for Scientific Computing