A systematic comparison of runtime load balancing algorithms for massively parallel rigid particle dynamics

S Eibl and U Rude, COMPUTER PHYSICS COMMUNICATIONS, 244, 76-85 (2019).

DOI: 10.1016/j.cpc.2019.06.020

As compute power increases with time, more involved and larger simulations become possible. However, it gets increasingly difficult to efficiently use the provided computational resources. Especially in particle-based simulations with a spatial domain partitioning large load imbalances can occur due to the simulation being dynamic. Then a static domain partitioning may not be suitable. This can deteriorate the overall runtime of the simulation significantly. Sophisticated load balancing strategies must be designed to alleviate this problem. In this paper we conduct a systematic evaluation of the performance of six different load balancing algorithms. Our tests cover a wide range of simulation sizes, and employ one of the largest supercomputers available. In particular we study the runtime and memory complexity of all components of the simulation carefully. When progressing to extreme scale simulations it is essential to identify bottlenecks and to predict the scaling behavior. Scaling experiments are shown for up to over one million processes. The performance of each algorithm is analyzed with respect to the quality of the load balancing and its runtime costs. Additionally an applied test case is used to judge the applicability of the best algorithms in real world applications. For all tests, the waLBerla multiphysics framework is employed. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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