Vine—A Numerical Code for Simulating Astrophysical Systems Using Particles. II. Implementation and Performance Characteristics
We continue our presentation of VINE. In this paper, we begin with a description of relevant architectural properties of the serial and shared memory parallel computers on which VINE is intended to run, and describe their influences on the design of the code itself. We continue with a detailed description of a number of optimizations made to the layout of the particle data in memory and to our implementation of a binary tree used to access that data for use in gravitational force calculations and searches for smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) neighbor particles. We describe the modifications to the code necessary to obtain forces efficiently from special purpose "GRAPE" hardware, the interfaces required to allow transparent substitution of those forces in the code instead of those obtained from the tree, and the modifications necessary to use both tree and GRAPE together as a fused GRAPE/tree combination. We conclude with an extensive series of performance tests, which demonstrate that the code can be run efficiently and without modification in serial on small workstations or in parallel using the OpenMP compiler directives on large-scale, shared memory parallel machines. We analyze the effects of the code optimizations and estimate that they improve its overall performance by more than an order of magnitude over that obtained by many other tree codes. Scaled parallel performance of the gravity and SPH calculations, together the most costly components of most simulations, is nearly linear up to at least 120 processors on moderate sized test problems using the Origin 3000 architecture, and to the maximum machine sizes available to us on several other architectures. At similar accuracy, performance of VINE, used in GRAPE-tree mode, is approximately a factor 2 slower than that of VINE, used in host-only mode. Further optimizations of the GRAPE/host communications could improve the speed by as much as a factor of 3, but have not yet been implemented in VINE. Finally, we find that although parallel performance on small problems may reach a plateau beyond which more processors bring no additional speedup, performance never decreases, a factor important for running large simulations on many processors with individual time steps, where only a small fraction of the total particles require updates at any given moment.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
- Pub Date:
- October 2009
- methods: N-body simulations;
- methods: numerical;
- Update to revised and newly resubmitted version of the paper. Code updated to version 1.0.7