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A GPU-enhanced cluster for accelerated FMS

Dan M Davis, Robert F Lucas, Gene Wagenbreth, John J Tran, James R Moore
Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California, Marina del Rey, California
HPCMP USERS GROUP CONFERENCE (2007) Volume: 2007, Publisher: Ieee, Pages: 305-309

@conference{davis2008gpu,

   title={A GPU-enhanced cluster for accelerated FMS},

   author={Davis, D.M. and Lucas, R.F. and Wagenbreth, G. and Tran, J.J. and Moore, J.R.},

   booktitle={DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program Users Group Conference, 2007},

   pages={305–309},

   year={2008},

   organization={IEEE}

}

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The forces modeling and simulation (FMS) community has often been hampered by constraints in computing: not enough resolution, not enough entities, not enough behavioral variants. High performance computing can ameliorate those constraints. The use of Linux clusters is one path to higher performance; the use of graphics processing units (GPU) as accelerators is another. Merging the two paths holds even more promise. The high performance computing modernization program (HPCMP) accepted a successful proposal for a new 512 CPU (1,024 core), GPU-enhanced Linux cluster for the joint forces command’s joint experimentation directorate (J9). The basic concepts underlying the use of GPUs as accelerators for intelligent agent, entity-level simulations are laid out. The simulation needs of J9, the direction from HPCMP and the careful analysis of the intersection of these are explicitly discussed. The configuration of the cluster is addressed and the assumptions that led to the conclusion that GPUs could increase performance by a factor of two are offered. Issues, problems and solutions will all be reported objectively, as guides to the FMS community and as confirmation or rejection of early assumptions. Early characterization runs of a single CPU with GPU-enhanced extensions are reported.
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