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Keywords: Paravis, TAU, SCIRun, online, performance, visualization
Parallel performance tools offer the program developer insights into the execution behavior of an application and are a valuable component in the cycle of application development and deployment. However, most tools do not work well with large-scale parallel applications where the performance data generated comes from thousands of processes. Not only can the data be difficult to manage and the analysis complex, but existing performance display tools are mostly restricted to two dimensions and lack the customization and display interaction to support full data investigation. In addition, it is increasingly important that performance tools be able to function online, making it possible to control and adapt long-running applications based on performance feedback. Again, large-scale parallelism complicates the online access and management of performance data, and it may be desirable to integrate performance analysis and visualization in existing computational steering infrastructures. The coupling of advanced three-dimensional visualization with large-scale, online performance data analysis could enhance application performance evaluation. The challenge is to develop a framework where the tedious work, such as access to the performance data and graphics rendering, is supported by the underlying system, leaving tool developers to focus on the high level design of the analysis and visualization capabilities. We designed and prototyped a system architecture for online performance access, analysis, and visualization in a large-scale parallel environment. The architecture consists of four components. The performance data integrator component is responsible for interfacing with a performance monitoring system to merge parallel performance samples into a synchronous data stream for analysis. The performance data reader component reads the external performance data into internal data structures of the analysis and visualization system. The performance analyzer component provides the analysis developer a programmable framework for constructing analysis modules that can be linked together for different functionality. The performance visualizer component can also be programmed to create different display modules. Our prototype is based on the TAU performance system, the Uintah computational framework, and the SCIRun computational steering and visualization system. Parallel profile data from a Uintah simulation are sampled and written to profile files during execution. A profile reader, implemented as a SCIRun module, saves profile samples in SCIRun memory. SCIRun provides a programmable system for building and linking the analysis and visualization components. We have developed two analysis modules and three visualization modules to demonstrate how parallel profile data from large-scale Uintah applications are processed online.
Created: Fri Nov 14 16:17:51 US/Pacific 2003
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