During 1998 new
Lowlevel Genesis benchmarks
were developed by David Lancaster
and the results collected into a new DataBase. The new benchmarks take
only timing measurements and do not calculate any performance parameters.
It is left to the users of the database to do what analysis of the results
that they wish. To aid in this Roger Hockney has written
calculate and plot the two- and three-parameter curve fits to the selected
benchmarks and display the associated performance parameters. A version
of the interactive PICT tool (see below) is also provided for refining
Parkbench Interactive Curve-Fitting Tool
A Collaborative Project Involving Fujitsu European Centre for Information Technology (FECIT), the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) and the Department of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. This project ran from Feb 1997 until Feb 1998.
The technology of parallel processing has matured to the stage where for many computationally intensive problems it is the method of choice. Techniques of parallel I/O have not however kept in step with these developments and applications may soon become I/O bound. An important development in this field was the publication of the MPI-2 standard which contains a chapter on I/O (referred to as MPI-I/O) and presently this is the best way of portably implementing parallel I/O at the application programming level. MPI-1 has been widely taken up in the community and provided MPI-2 is similarly adopted it will form an important basis for parallel I/O.
With this situation in mind, and for the purposes of this project, the ECMWF IFS weather code was ported to use MPI-I/O on the Fujitsu VP700. In order to test the resulting I/O performance Southampton and FECIT developed a suite of tools that provide timing and instrumentation measurements. The aim of the project was to use these tools to analyse the I/O performance in detail: at the system, MPI implementation and application levels. These tools also make it possible, for the first time, to make comparisons of parallel I/O between widely dissimilar systems.
HPC-Standards funding has allowed significant European-US discussions in the area of the PARKBENCH low-level benchmarks. European contribution was made in the following areas; the new "COMMS" benchmarks, a Java applet tool (PICT) for postprocessing and parameterisation of PARKBENCH results, run and reporting rules, Java benchmarks and parallel I/O benchmarks. PARKBENCH awareness and dissemination of results has been increased through the Performance Evaluation and Modelling for Computer Systems (PEMCS) electronic journal which was initiated in early 1997 at the suggestion of the HPCnet Network of Excellence. HPCnet provided some start-up funding for this activity which promotes responsible performance reporting. Therefore, although not funded directly by HPC-Standards or the PARKBENCH group, the journal has active involvement of EU and US experts and this can be seen to be a result of EU support for PARKBENCH in HPC-Standards.
The HPC-Standards project final management report (February 1998) is
available in HTML or postscript
format. This details the activities funded by the project from 1st June
1996 until its cessation on November 30th, 1997.
Parallel and Distributed Computing
Department of Electronics & Computer Science
University of Southampton