A comparative analysis of the performance and deployment overhead of parallelized Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) algorithms on a selection of high performance multiprocessor computing systems

Ilgner, Robert Georg (2013-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The parallel FDTD method as used in computational electromagnetics is implemented on a variety of different high performance computing platforms. These parallel FDTD implementations have regularly been compared in terms of performance or purchase cost, but very little systematic consideration has been given to how much effort has been used to create the parallel FDTD for a specific computing architecture. The deployment effort for these platforms has changed dramatically with time, the deployment time span used to create FDTD implementations in 1980 ranging from months, to the contemporary scenario where parallel FDTD methods can be implemented on a supercomputer in a matter of hours. This thesis compares the effort required to deploy the parallel FDTD on selected computing platforms from the constituents that make up the deployment effort, such as coding complexity and time of coding. It uses the deployment and performance of the serial FDTD method on a single personal computer as a benchmark and examines the deployments of the parallel FDTD using different parallelisation techniques. These FDTD deployments are then analysed and compared against one another in order to determine the common characteristics between the FDTD implementations on various computing platforms with differing parallelisation techniques. Although subjective in some instances, these characteristics are quantified and compared in tabular form, by using the research information created by the parallel FDTD implementations. The deployment effort is of interest to scientists and engineers considering the creation or purchase of an FDTD-like solution on a high performance computing platform. Although the FDTD method has been considered to be a brute force approach to solving computational electromagnetic problems in the past, this was very probably a factor of the relatively weak computing platforms which took very long periods to process small model sizes. This thesis will describe the current implementations of the parallel FDTD method, made up of a combination of several techniques. These techniques can be easily deployed in a relatively quick time frame on computing architectures ranging from IBM’s Bluegene/P to the amalgamation of multicore processor and graphics processing unit, known as an accelerated processing unit.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die parallel Eindige Verskil Tyd Domein (Eng: FDTD) metode word gebruik in numeriese elektromagnetika en kan op verskeie hoë werkverrigting rekenaars geïmplementeer word. Hierdie parallele FDTD implementasies word gereeld in terme van werkverrigting of aankoop koste vergelyk, maar word bitter min sistematies oorweeg in terme van die hoeveelheid moeite wat dit geverg het om die parallele FDTD vir 'n spesifieke rekenaar argitektuur te skep. Mettertyd het die moeite om die platforms te ontplooi dramaties verander, in the 1980's het die ontplooings tyd tipies maande beloop waarteenoor dit vandag binne 'n kwessie van ure gedoen kan word. Hierdie tesis vergelyk die inspanning wat nodig is om die parallelle FDTD op geselekteerde rekenaar platforms te ontplooi deur te kyk na faktore soos die kompleksiteit van kodering en die tyd wat dit vat om 'n kode te implementeer. Die werkverrigting van die serie FDTD metode, geïmplementeer op 'n enkele persoonlike rekenaar word gebruik as 'n maatstaf om die ontplooing van die parallel FDTD met verskeie parallelisasie tegnieke te evalueer. Deur hierdie FDTD ontplooiings met verskillende parallelisasie tegnieke te ontleed en te vergelyk word die gemeenskaplike eienskappe bepaal vir verskeie rekenaar platforms. Alhoewel sommige gevalle subjektief is, is hierdie eienskappe gekwantifiseer en vergelyk in tabelvorm deur gebruik te maak van die navorsings inligting geskep deur die parallel FDTD implementasies. Die ontplooiings moeite is belangrik vir wetenskaplikes en ingenieurs wat moet besluit tussen die ontwikkeling of aankoop van 'n FDTD tipe oplossing op 'n höe werkverrigting rekenaar. Hoewel die FDTD metode in die verlede beskou was as 'n brute krag benadering tot die oplossing van elektromagnetiese probleme was dit waarskynlik weens die relatiewe swak rekenaar platforms wat lank gevat het om klein modelle te verwerk. Hierdie tesis beskryf die moderne implementering van die parallele FDTD metode, bestaande uit 'n kombinasie van verskeie tegnieke. Hierdie tegnieke kan maklik in 'n relatiewe kort tydsbestek ontplooi word op rekenaar argitekture wat wissel van IBM se BlueGene / P tot die samesmelting van multikern verwerkers en grafiese verwerkings eenhede, beter bekend as 'n versnelde verwerkings eenheid.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85572
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