Communication Characteristics of Message-Passing Scientific and Engineering Applications

R. Zamani and A. Afsahi (Canada)


Communication Characteristics, Message-Passing, Parallel Applications, MPI, Clusters


Communication performance is an important factor that affects the performance of message-passing parallel applications running on clusters of workstations/multiprocessors. A proper understanding of communication patterns of parallel applications will help application developers to maximize their performance on a target architecture. It will also help designing better communication subsystems, and MPI library in the future. This paper examines the message passing communication characteristics of three applications (BT MZ, SP-MZ, and LU-MZ) in the NAS Multi-Zone parallel benchmark suite as well as two applications (SPECenv and SPECseis) in the SPEChpc2002 suite. Our study considers both point-to-point and collective communications. For point-to-point communications, we quantify the message type, message frequency, message size, and message destinations. For collectives, we examine their type, frequency, and payload. In general, this paper shows that the applications studied have diverse communication patterns and that they are mostly sensitive to the changes in the system size and the problem size.

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