Argonne National Laboratory

PPL: An Abstract Runtime System for Hybrid Parallel Programming

TitlePPL: An Abstract Runtime System for Hybrid Parallel Programming
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBrooks, A, Dang, H, Dryden, N, Snir, M
Conference NameESPM'15
Conference LocationAustin, Texas
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P5399-0915
AbstractHardware trends indicate that supercomputers will see fast growing intra-node parallelism. Future programming models will need to carefully manage the interaction between inter-and intra-node parallelism to cope with this evolution. There exist many programming models which expose both levels of parallelism. However, they do not scale well as per-node thread counts rise and there is limited interoperability between threading and communication, leading to unnecessary software overheads and an increased amount of unnecessary communication. To address this, it is necessary to understand the limitations of current models and develop new approaches. We propose a new runtime system design, PPL, which abstracts important high-level concepts of a typical parallel system for distributed-memory machines. By modularizing these elements, layers can be tested to better understand the needs of future programming models. We present details of the design and development implementation of PPL in C++11 and evaluate the performance of several different module implementations through micro-benchmarks and three applications: Barnes-Hut, Monte Carlo particle tracking, and a sparse-triangular solver.