Jim Ahrens, Chris Sewell, and John Patchett (LANL)
- Implement application-specific visualization and/or analysis operators needed for in-situ use by LCF science codes
- Use PISTON to take advantage of multi-core and many-core technologies
- The Hardware/Hybrid Accelerated Cosmology Code (HACC) simulates the distribution of dark matter in the universe over time
- An important and time-consuming analysis function within this code is finding halos (high density regions) and the centers of those halos
- The PISTON component of VTK-m develops data-parallel algorithms that are portable across many-core architectures for use by LCF codes
- PISTON consists of a library of visualization and analysis algorithms implemented using Thrust, and our extensions to Thrust
Halo and Center Finders
- Data-parallel algorithms for halo and center finding implemented using VTK-m (PISTON) allow the code to take advantage of parallelism on accelerators such as GPUs
- Can be used for post-processing or in-situ, with in-situ integration directly into HACC or via the CosmoTools library
Visual comparison of halos computed by the original HACC algorithms (left) and the PISTON algorithms (right). The results are equivalent, but are computed much more quickly on the GPU using PISTON.
We have used the PISTON component of VTK-m to implement domain-specific data-parallel analysis operators for the Hardware/Hybrid Accelerated Cosmology Code (HACC), which simulates the distribution of dark matter in the universe over time. Specifically, we have implemented a halo finder (which identifies regions of high density) and statistics about those halos, such as centers (the particle within a halo with the minimum potential). We have worked closely with the HACC scientists (Katrin Heitmann and Salman Habib) to enable our PISTON analysis routines to be used in situ with the simulation, both by directly integrating into the HACC code and through the CosmoTools library.
Tests with a 10243 particle data set run on 128 nodes with 16 processes per node on the Moonlight supercomputer showed a speed-up of a factor of 4.9 by running the PISTON halo and center finders on the GPUs compared to the original CPU code. A separate test on Titan run on 32 nodes showed a speed-up of a factor of about 11, with the additional speed-up due to the fact that the CPU code was limited to only run a single process per node due to memory constraints. These performance improvements allowed halo analysis to be performed on a very large 81923 particle data set across 16,384 nodes on Titan for which analysis using the existing CPU algorithms was not feasible.
The portability of the PISTON implementation should also facilitate speed-ups on other current and future accelerators. For example, we have also compiled our algorithms, using the exact same code, to an OpenMP backend, and run them on an Intel Xeon Phi (MIC) accelerator on the Stampede cluster at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, and demonstrated that our algorithms scale to more cores than running the existing serial algorithms with multiple MPI processes. Finally, we also implemented a grid-based most bound particle center finder using a Poisson solver that performs fewer total computations than the standard O(n2) algorithm.