Publications / Conference Poster

Enabling tractable exploration of the performance of adaptive mesh refinement

Vaughan, Courtenay T.; Barrett, Richard F.

A broad range of physical phenomena in science and engineering can be explored using finite difference and volume based application codes. Incorporating Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) into these codes focuses attention on the most critical parts of a simulation, enabling increased numerical accuracy of the solution while limiting memory consumption. However, adaptivity comes at the cost of increased runtime complexity, which is particularly challenging on emerging and expected future architectures. In order to explore the design space offered by new computing environments, we have developed a proxy application called miniAMR. MiniAMR exposes a range of the important issues that will significantly impact the performance potential of full application codes. In this paper, we describe miniAMR, demonstrate what is designed to represent in a full application code, and illustrate how it can be used to exploit future high performance computing architectures. To ensure an accurate understanding of what miniAMR is intended to represent, we compare it with CTH, a shock hydrodynamics code in heavy use throughout several computational science and engineering communities.