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PICS: A Performance-Analysis-Based Introspective Control System to Steer Parallel Applications
International Workshop on Runtime and Operating Systems for Supercomputers (ROSS) 2014
Publication Type: Paper
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Parallel programming has always been difficult due to the complexity of hardware and the diversity of applications. Although significant progress has been achieved with the remarkable efforts of researchers in academia and industry, attaining high parallel efficiency on large supercomputers with millions of cores for various applications remains challenging. Therefore, performance tuning has become even more important and challenging than ever before. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of \emph{PICS}: Performance-analysis-based Introspective Control System, which is used to tune parallel programs. PICS provides a generic set of abstractions to the applications to expose the application-specific knowledge to the runtime system. The abstractions are called \emph{control points}, which are tunable parameters affecting application performance. The application behaviors are observed, measured and automatically analyzed by the PICS. Based on the analysis results and expert knowledge rules, program characteristics are extracted to assist the search for optimal configurations of the control points. We have implemented the PICS control system in Charm++, an asynchronous message-driven parallel programming model. We demonstrate the utility of PICS with several benchmarks and a real-world application and show its effectiveness.
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