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Performance Analysis of and Tool Support for Transactional Memory on BG/Q

Description: Martin Schindewolf worked during his internship at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) under the guidance of Martin Schulz at the Computer Science Group of the Center for Applied Scientific Computing. We studied the performance of the TM subsystem of BG/Q as well as researched the possibilities for tool support for TM. To study the performance, we run CLOMP-TM. CLOMP-TM is a benchmark designed for the purpose to quantify the overhead of OpenMP and compare different synchronization primitives. To advance CLOMP-TM, we added Message Passing Interface (MPI) routines for a hybrid parallelization. This enables to run multiple MPI tasks, each running OpenMP, on one node. With these enhancements, a beneficial MPI task to OpenMP thread ratio is determined. Further, the synchronization primitives are ranked as a function of the application characteristics. To demonstrate the usefulness of these results, we investigate a real Monte Carlo simulation called Monte Carlo Benchmark (MCB). Applying the lessons learned yields the best task to thread ratio. Further, we were able to tune the synchronization by transactifying the MCB. Further, we develop tools that capture the performance of the TM run time system and present it to the application's developer. The performance of the TM run time system relies on the built-in statistics. These tools use the Blue Gene Performance Monitoring (BGPM) interface to correlate the statistics from the TM run time system with performance counter values. This combination provides detailed insights in the run time behavior of the application and enables to track down the cause of degraded performance. Further, one tool has been implemented that separates the performance counters in three categories: Successful Speculation, Unsuccessful Speculation and No Speculation. All of the tools are crafted around IBM's xlc compiler for C and C++ and have been run and tested on a Q32 early access ...
Date: December 8, 2011
Creator: Schindewolf, M
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

What Scientific Applications can Benefit from Hardware Transactional Memory?

Description: Achieving efficient and correct synchronization of multiple threads is a difficult and error-prone task at small scale and, as we march towards extreme scale computing, will be even more challenging when the resulting application is supposed to utilize millions of cores efficiently. Transactional Memory (TM) is a promising technique to ease the burden on the programmer, but only recently has become available on commercial hardware in the new Blue Gene/Q system and hence the real benefit for realistic applications has not been studied, yet. This paper presents the first performance results of TM embedded into OpenMP on a prototype system of BG/Q and characterizes code properties that will likely lead to benefits when augmented with TM primitives. We first, study the influence of thread count, environment variables and memory layout on TM performance and identify code properties that will yield performance gains with TM. Second, we evaluate the combination of OpenMP with multiple synchronization primitives on top of MPI to determine suitable task to thread ratios per node. Finally, we condense our findings into a set of best practices. These are applied to a Monte Carlo Benchmark and a Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics method. In both cases an optimized TM version, executed with 64 threads on one node, outperforms a simple TM implementation. MCB with optimized TM yields a speedup of 27.45 over baseline.
Date: June 4, 2012
Creator: Schindewolf, M; Bihari, B; Gyllenhaal, J; Schulz, M; Wang, A & Karl, W
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department