Parallelizing ATLAS Reconstruction and Simulation: Issues and Optimization Solutions for Scaling on Multi- and Many-CPU Platforms

Abstract : Thermal limitations have forced CPU manufacturers to shift from simply increasing clock speeds to improve processor performance, to producing chip designs with multi- and many-core architectures. Further the cores themselves can run multiple threads as a zero overhead context switch allowing low level resource sharing (Intel Hyperthreading). To maximize bandwidth and minimize memory latency, memory access has become non uniform (NUMA). As manufacturers add more cores to each chip, a careful understanding of the underlying architecture is required in order to fully utilize the available resources. We present AthenaMP and the Atlas event loop manager, the driver of the simulation and reconstruction engines, which have been rewritten to make use of multiple cores, by means of event based parallelism, and final stage I/O synchronization. However, initial studies on 8 andl6 core Intel architectures have shown marked non-linearities as parallel process counts increase, with as much as 30% reductions in event throughput in some scenarios. Since the Intel Nehalem architecture (both Gainestown and Westmere) will be the most common choice for the next round of hardware procurements, an understanding of these scaling issues is essential. Using hardware based event counters and Intel's Performance Tuning Utility, we have studied the performance bottlenecks at the hardware level, and discovered optimization schemes to maximize processor throughput. We have also produced optimization mechanisms, common to all large experiments, that address the extreme nature of today's HEP code, which due to it's size, places huge burdens on the memory infrastructure of today's processors.
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Conference papers
Conference on Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics 2010 (CHEP 2010), Oct 2010, Taipei, Taiwan. IOP Publishing, 331, pp.042015, <10.1088/1742-6596/331/4/042015>


http://hal.in2p3.fr/in2p3-00657498
Contributor : Françoise Marechal <>
Submitted on : Friday, January 6, 2012 - 4:00:52 PM
Last modification on : Monday, January 9, 2012 - 10:00:51 AM

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C. Leggett, S. Binet, K. Jackson, D. Levinthal, M. Tatarkhanov, et al.. Parallelizing ATLAS Reconstruction and Simulation: Issues and Optimization Solutions for Scaling on Multi- and Many-CPU Platforms. Conference on Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics 2010 (CHEP 2010), Oct 2010, Taipei, Taiwan. IOP Publishing, 331, pp.042015, <10.1088/1742-6596/331/4/042015>. <in2p3-00657498>

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