Publications / Journal Article

Reducing the bulk of the bulk synchronous parallel model

Barrett, Richard F.; Vaughan, Courtenay T.; Hammond, Simon D.

For over two decades the dominant means for enabling portable performance of computational science and engineering applications on parallel processing architectures has been the bulk-synchronous parallel programming (BSP) model. Code developers, motivated by performance considerations to minimize the number of messages transmitted, have typically pursued a strategy of aggregating message data into fewer, larger messages. Emerging and future high-performance architectures, especially those seen as targeting Exascale capabilities, provide motivation and capabilities for revisiting this approach. In this paper we explore alternative configurations within the context of a large-scale complex multi-physics application and a proxy that represents its behavior, presenting results that demonstrate some important advantages as the number of processors increases in scale.