Optimizing an MPI Weather Forecasting Model via Processor Virtualization
IEEE International Conference on High Performance Computing (HiPC) 2010
Publication Type: Paper
Repository URL: Not-Yet-Available
Weather forecasting models are computationally intensive applications. These models are typically executed in parallel machines and a major obstacle for their scalability is load imbalance. The causes of such imbalance are either static (e.g. topography) or dynamic (e.g. shortwave radiation, moving thunderstorms). Various techniques, often embedded in the application's source code, have been used to address both sources. However, these techniques are inflexible and hard to use in legacy codes.

In this paper, we demonstrate the effectiveness of processor virtualization for dynamically balancing the load in BRAMS, a mesoscale weather forecasting model based on MPI parallelization. We use the Charm++ infrastructure, with its overdecomposition and object-migration capabilities, to move subdomains across processors during execution of the model. Processor virtualization enables better overlap between computation and communication and improved cache efficiency. Furthermore, by employing an appropriate load balancer, we achieve better processor utilization while requiring minimal changes to the model's code.
Eduardo R. Rodrigues, Philippe O. A. Navaux, Jairo Panetta, Celso L. Mendes and Laxmikant V. Kale, "Optimizing an MPI Weather Forecasting Model via Processor Virtualization", Proceedings of International Conference on High Performance Computing (HiPC), 2010.
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