A. Ching, A. Choudhary, W.-K. Liao, R. Ross, W. Gropp, "Noncontiguous I/O through PVFS," Preprint ANL/MCS-P970-0702, July 2002. [pdf]
With the tremendous advances in processor and memory technology, I/O has risen to become the bottleneck in high-performance computing for many applications. The development of parallel file systems has helped to ease the performance gap, but I/O still remains an area needing significant performance improvement. Research has found that noncontiguous I/O access patterns in scientific applications combined with current file system methods to perform these accesses lead to unacceptable performance for large data sets. To enhance performance of noncontiguous I/O, we have created list I/O, a native version of noncontiguous I/O. We have used the Parallel Virtual File System (PVFS) to implement our ideas. Our research and experimentation shows that list I/O outperforms current noncontiguous I/O access methods in most I/O situations and can substantially enhance the performance of real-world scientific applications.