POP Project Restarted 1st December 2018

Saturday, December 1, 2018

After a very successful first phase of the POP project from October 2015 to March 2018, where we performed over 160 performance audit, performance plan, and proof-of-concept services for our customers, the project secured funding for a second 3-year phase starting 1st December 2018. For our past and potential future customers nothing major changed: We still will provide free performance optimisation and productivity services for academic and industrial codes in all domains! The services are still free of charge to organisations / SMEs / ISVs / companies in the EU! We will also continue our successful training and tuning workshops programme including our performance analysis webinars.

To improve the service, the second phase of the project includes a few minor changes and additions which are listed below.

New Service Structure

In the first phase of the project we offered three types of services: Performance Audit, Performance Plan and Proof-of-Concept (PoC). The performance audits and plans represented different depths in the analysis of observed behaviour and prediction of the impacts that would result from proposed refactoring or architectural retargeting. Initially, Performance Audits should include simpler and more generic analyses and take less effort from the POP analyst than Performance Plans which should be very deep and targeted to analysing specific issues and potential improvements. Proof-of-Concept services aim at demonstrating to the customer on a subset of their code, mini-apps or kernels extracted from them, how our proposed techniques should be applied and measure the gain obtained. Experience in the first phase has shown the blurred boundary between Performance Audits and Plans. Based on this experience and also from our users' feedback, we decided to integrate Performance Audits and Plans into one new service called Performance Assessment. Internally we will consider the audit as the identification of the region to focus the analysis and the measurement of the efficiencies. These results will be reported to the user as a first initial feedback unless the results indicate there is no performance issue or the user declines to continue the study. Otherwise, the next step will be a deeper analysis of the components that degrade the performance providing concrete recommendations for each of them.

New Project Partners

For the second phase, teams from the Performance Tools team at UVSQ in France and IT4Innovations at VSB-TUO in the Czech Republic will join our group of performance experts. The other members are Barcelona Supercomputing Center, High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart, Jülich Supercomputing Centre, Numerical Algorithms Group, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, and Teratec. See below for more details on our new project partners.

New Co-design Data Repository

We will create a co-design data repository which includes statistics about common performance issues of HPC applications as well as micro-kernels extracted from real applications each characterising fundamental performance behaviour. Hardware architects or system software designers from other EU projects will be able to get quantitative information of how to estimate the potential impact of an architectural or system software approach they may be developing. The micro-kernels will also be useful within POP (but also outside) as training material examples, and for demonstrating benefits of the programming model features and practices that POP promotes in dissemination activities.