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Testing New Programming Paradigms with NAS Parallel BenchmarksOver the past decade, high performance computing has evolved rapidly, not only in hardware architectures but also with increasing complexity of real applications. Technologies have been developing to aim at scaling up to thousands of processors on both distributed and shared memory systems. Development of parallel programs on these computers is always a challenging task. Today, writing parallel programs with message passing (e.g. MPI) is the most popular way of achieving scalability and high performance. However, writing message passing programs is difficult and error prone. Recent years new effort has been made in defining new parallel programming paradigms. The best examples are: HPF (based on data parallelism) and OpenMP (based on shared memory parallelism). Both provide simple and clear extensions to sequential programs, thus greatly simplify the tedious tasks encountered in writing message passing programs. HPF is independent of memory hierarchy, however, due to the immaturity of compiler technology its performance is still questionable. Although use of parallel compiler directives is not new, OpenMP offers a portable solution in the shared-memory domain. Another important development involves the tremendous progress in the internet and its associated technology. Although still in its infancy, Java promisses portability in a heterogeneous environment and offers possibility to "compile once and run anywhere." In light of testing these new technologies, we implemented new parallel versions of the NAS Parallel Benchmarks (NPBs) with HPF and OpenMP directives, and extended the work with Java and Java-threads. The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of alternative programming paradigms. NPBs consist of five kernels and three simulated applications that mimic the computation and data movement of large scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applications. We started with the serial version included in NPB2.3. Optimization of memory and cache usage was applied to several benchmarks, noticeably BT and SP, resulting in better sequential performance. In order to overcome the lack of an HPF performance model and guide the development of the HPF codes, we employed an empirical performance model for several primitives found in the benchmarks. We encountered a few limitations of HPF, such as lack of supporting the "REDISTRIBUTION" directive and no easy way to handle irregular computation. The parallelization with OpenMP directives was done at the outer-most loop level to achieve the largest granularity. The performance of six HPF and OpenMP benchmarks is compared with their MPI counterparts for the Class-A problem size in the figure in next page. These results were obtained on an SGI Origin2000 (195MHz) with MIPSpro-f77 compiler 7.2.1 for OpenMP and MPI codes and PGI pghpf-2.4.3 compiler with MPI interface for HPF programs.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Jin, H. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Frumkin, M. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Schultz, M. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Yan, J. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2000
Subject Category
Computer Systems
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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