Visualizing large-scale parallel communication traces using a particle animation technique

Carmen Sigovan, Chris W. Muelder, Kwan-Liu Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Large-scale scientific simulations require execution on parallel computing systems in order to yield useful results in a reasonable time frame. But parallel execution adds communication overhead. The impact that this overhead has on performance may be difficult to gauge, as parallel application behaviors are typically harder to understand than the sequential types. We introduce an animation-based interactive visualization technique for the analysis of communication patterns occurring in parallel application execution. Our method has the advantages of illustrating the dynamic communication patterns in the system as well as a static image of MPI (Message Passing Interface) utilization history. We also devise a data streaming mechanism that allows for the exploration of very large data sets. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach scaling up to 16 thousand processes using a series of trace data sets of ScaLAPACK matrix operations functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-150
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number3 PART2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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