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CPMIP: measurements of real computational performance of Earth system models in CMIP6

Balaji, V., Maisonnave, E., Zadeh, N., Lawrence, B. N., Biercamp, J., Fladrich, U., Aloisio, G., Benson, R., Caubel, A., Durachta, J., Foujols, M.-A., Lister, G., Mocavero, S., Underwood, S. and Wright, G. (2017) CPMIP: measurements of real computational performance of Earth system models in CMIP6. Geoscientific Model Development, 10 (1). pp. 19-34. ISSN 1991-9603

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/gmd-10-19-2017


A climate model represents a multitude of processes on a variety of timescales and space scales: a canonical example of multi-physics multi-scale modeling. The underlying climate system is physically characterized by sensitive dependence on initial conditions, and natural stochastic variability, so very long integrations are needed to extract signals of climate change. Algorithms generally possess weak scaling and can be I/O and/or memory-bound. Such weak- scaling, I/O, and memory-bound multi-physics codes present particular challenges to computational performance. Traditional metrics of computational efficiency such as performance counters and scaling curves do not tell us enough about real sustained performance from climate mod- els on different machines. They also do not provide a satis- factory basis for comparative information across models. We introduce a set of metrics that can be used for the study of computational performance of climate (and Earth system) models. These measures do not require specialized software or specific hardware counters, and should be accessible to anyone. They are independent of platform and underlying parallel programming models. We show how these metrics can be used to measure actually attained performance of Earth system models on different machines, and identify the most fruitful areas of research and development for performance engineering. We present results for these measures for a diverse suite of models from several modeling centers, and propose to use these measures as a basis for a CPMIP, a computational performance model intercomparison project (MIP).

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:68554
Publisher:European Geosciences Union


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