VIPACT: A visualization interface for analyzing calling context trees

Huu Tan Nguyen, Lai Wei, Abhinav Bhatele, Todd Gamblin, David Boehme, Martin Schulz, Kwan-Liu Ma, Peer Timo Bremer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


Profiling tools are indispensable for performance optimization of parallel codes. They allow users to understand where a code spends its time, and to focus optimization efforts on the most time consuming regions. However, two sources of complexity make them difficult to use on large-scale parallel applications. First, the code complexity of parallel applications is increasingly, and identifying the problematic regions in the code is difficult. Traditional profilers show either a flat view or a calling context tree view. Second, most tools average performance data across processes, losing per-process behavior. Diagnosing problems like load imbalance requires profiles from many processes, and manually analyzing profiles from hundreds or thousands of processes is infeasible. We introduce VIPACT, a visualization tool to identify different behaviors in multiple processes. VIPACT introduces "halo nodes" that concisely encode the distributions of runtimes from all processes, and a hybrid tree view that combines the advantages of calling context trees with those of flat profiles. We combine these with approaches such as ring charts, as well as the filtering and subselection of nodes, and we apply these techniques to a production multi-physics code.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of VPA 2016
Subtitle of host publication3rd Workshop on Visual Performance Analysis - Held in conjunction with SC 2016: The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781509052264
StatePublished - Jan 30 2017
Event3rd Workshop on Visual Performance Analysis, VPA 2016 - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: Nov 18 2016 → …


Other3rd Workshop on Visual Performance Analysis, VPA 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City
Period11/18/16 → …

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Software


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