Scaling and Resilience in Numerical Algorithms for Exascale Computing

The first Petascale supercomputer, the IBM Roadrunner, went online in 2008. Ten years later, the community is now looking ahead to a new generation of Exascale machines. During the decade that has passed, several hundred Petascale capable machines have been installed worldwide, yet despite the abundance of machines, applications that scale to their full size remain rare. Large clusters now routinely have 50.000+ cores, some have several million. This extreme level of parallelism, that has allowed a theoretical compute capacity in excess of a million billion operations per second, turns out to be difficult to use in many applications of practical interest. Processors often end up spending more time waiting for synchronization, communication, and other coordinating operations to complete, rather than actually computing. Component reliability is another challenge facing HPC developers. If even a single processor fail, among many thousands, the user is forced to restart traditional applications, wasting valuable compute time. These issues collectively manifest themselves as low parallel efficiency, resulting in waste of energy and computational resources. Future performance improvements are expected to continue to come in large part due to increased parallelism. One may therefore speculate that the difficulties currently faced, when scaling applications to Petascale machines, will progressively worsen, making it difficult for scientists to harness the full potential of Exascale computing. The thesis comprises two parts. Each part consists of several chapters discussing modifications of numerical algorithms to make them better suited for future Exascale machines. In the first part, the use of Parareal for Parallel-in-Time integration techniques for scalable numerical solution of partial differential equations is considered. We propose a new adaptive scheduler that optimize the parallel efficiency by minimizing the time-subdomain length without making communication of time-subdomains too costly. In conjunction with an appropriate preconditioner, we demonstrate that it is possible to obtain time-parallel speedup on the nonlinear shallow water equation, beyond what is possible using conventional spatial domain-decomposition techniques alone. The part is concluded with the proposal of a new method for constructing Parallel-in-Time integration schemes better suited for convection dominated problems. In the second part, new ways of mitigating the impact of hardware failures are developed and presented. The topic is introduced with the creation of a new fault-tolerant variant of Parareal. In the chapter that follows, a C++ Library for multi-level checkpointing is presented. The library uses lightweight in-memory checkpoints, protected trough the use of erasure codes, to mitigate the impact of failures by decreasing the overhead of checkpointing and minimizing the compute work lost. Erasure codes have the unfortunate property that if more data blocks are lost than parity codes created, the data is effectively considered unrecoverable. The final chapter contains a preliminary study on partial information recovery for incomplete checksums. Under the assumption that some meta knowledge exists on the structure of the data encoded, we show that the data lost may be recovered, at least partially. This result is of interest not only in HPC but also in data centers where erasure codes are widely used to protect data efficiently.


Advisor(s):
Hesthaven, Jan Sickmann
Year:
2018
Publisher:
Lausanne, EPFL
Keywords:
Laboratories:
MCSS




 Record created 2018-11-05, last modified 2019-06-19

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