On noise and the performance benefit of nonblocking collectives

PM Widener and S Levy and KB Ferreira and T Hoefler, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING APPLICATIONS, 30, 121-133 (2016).

DOI: 10.1177/1094342015611952

Relaxed synchronization offers the potential for maintaining application scalability, by allowing many processes to make independent progress when some processes suffer delays. Yet the benefits of this approach for important parallel workloads have not been investigated in detail. In this paper, we use a validated simulation approach to explore the noise- mitigation effects of idealized nonblocking collectives, in workloads where these collectives are a major contributor to total execution time. Although nonblocking collectives are unlikely to provide significant noise mitigation to applications in the low operating system noise environments expected in next-generation high-performance computing systems, we show that they can potentially improve application runtime with respect to other noise types.

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