The fast multipole method at exascale

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Chandramowlishwaran, Aparna
Vuduc, Richard
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This thesis presents a top to bottom analysis on designing and implementing fast algorithms for current and future systems. We present new analysis, algorithmic techniques, and implementations of the Fast Multipole Method (FMM) for solving N- body problems. We target the FMM because it is broadly applicable to a variety of scientific particle simulations used to study electromagnetic, fluid, and gravitational phenomena, among others. Importantly, the FMM has asymptotically optimal time complexity with guaranteed approximation accuracy. As such, it is among the most attractive solutions for scalable particle simulation on future extreme scale systems. We specifically address two key challenges. The first challenge is how to engineer fast code for today’s platforms. We present the first in-depth study of multicore op- timizations and tuning for FMM, along with a systematic approach for transforming a conventionally-parallelized FMM into a highly-tuned one. We introduce novel opti- mizations that significantly improve the within-node scalability of the FMM, thereby enabling high-performance in the face of multicore and manycore systems. The second challenge is how to understand scalability on future systems. We present a new algorithmic complexity analysis of the FMM that considers both intra- and inter- node communication costs. Using these models, we present results for choosing the optimal algorithmic tuning parameter. This analysis also yields the surprising prediction that although the FMM is largely compute-bound today, and therefore highly scalable on current systems, the trajectory of processor architecture designs, if there are no significant changes could cause it to become communication-bound as early as the year 2015. This prediction suggests the utility of our analysis approach, which directly relates algorithmic and architectural characteristics, for enabling a new kind of highlevel algorithm-architecture co-design. To demonstrate the scientific significance of FMM, we present two applications namely, direct simulation of blood which is a multi-scale multi-physics problem and large-scale biomolecular electrostatics. MoBo (Moving Boundaries) is the infrastruc- ture for the direct numerical simulation of blood. It comprises of two key algorithmic components of which FMM is one. We were able to simulate blood flow using Stoke- sian dynamics on 200,000 cores of Jaguar, a peta-flop system and achieve a sustained performance of 0.7 Petaflop/s. The second application we propose as future work in this thesis is biomolecular electrostatics where we solve for the electrical potential using the boundary-integral formulation discretized with boundary element methods (BEM). The computational kernel in solving the large linear system is dense matrix vector multiply which we propose can be calculated using our scalable FMM. We propose to begin with the two dielectric problem where the electrostatic field is cal- culated using two continuum dielectric medium, the solvent and the molecule. This is only a first step to solving biologically challenging problems which have more than two dielectric medium, ion-exclusion layers, and solvent filled cavities. Finally, given the difficulty in producing high-performance scalable code, productivity is a key concern. Recently, numerical algorithms are being redesigned to take advantage of the architectural features of emerging multicore processors. These new classes of algorithms express fine-grained asynchronous parallelism and hence reduce the cost of synchronization. We performed the first extensive performance study of a recently proposed parallel programming model, called Concurrent Collections (CnC). In CnC, the programmer expresses her computation in terms of application-specific operations, partially-ordered by semantic scheduling constraints. The CnC model is well-suited to expressing asynchronous-parallel algorithms, so we evaluate CnC using two dense linear algebra algorithms in this style for execution on state-of-the-art mul- ticore systems. Our implementations in CnC was able to match and in some cases even exceed competing vendor-tuned and domain specific library codes. We combine these two distinct research efforts by expressing FMM in CnC, our approach tries to marry performance with productivity that will be critical on future systems. Looking forward, we would like to extend this to distributed memory machines, specifically implement FMM in the new distributed CnC, distCnC to express fine-grained paral- lelism which would require significant effort in alternative models.
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