Parboil: A Revised Benchmark Suite for Scientific and Commercial Throughput Computing

John A. Stratton, Christopher Rodrigues, I-Jui Sung, Nady Obeid, Li-Wen Chang, Nasser Anssari, Geng Daniel Liu, Wen-mei W. Hwu
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Center for Reliable and High-Performance Computing
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IMPACT Technical Report IMPACT-12-01, 2012


   title={Parboil: A Revised Benchmark Suite for Scientific and Commercial Throughput Computing},

   author={Stratton, J.A. and Rodrigues, C. and Sung, I.J. and Obeid, N. and Chang, L.W. and Anssari, N. and Liu, G.D. and Hwu, W.W.},

   journal={Center for Reliable and High-Performance Computing},



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The Parboil benchmarks are a set of throughput computing applications useful for studying the performance of throughput computing architecture and compilers. The name comes from the culinary term for a partial cooking process, which represents our belief that useful throughput computing benchmarks must be "cooked", or preselected to implement a scalable algorithm with fine-grained parallel tasks. But useful benchmarks for this field cannot be "fully cooked", because the architectures and programming models and supporting tools are evolving rapidly enough that static benchmark codes will lose relevance very quickly. We have collected benchmarks from throughput computing application researchers in many different scientific and commercial fields including image processing, biomolecular simulation, fluid dynamics, and astronomy. Each benchmark includes several implementations. Some implementations we provide as readable base implementations from which new optimization efforts can begin, and others as examples of the current state-of-the-art targeting specific CPU and GPU architectures. As we continue to optimize these benchmarks for new and existing architectures ourselves, we will also gladly accept new implementations and benchmark contributions from developers to recognize those at the frontier of performance optimization on each architecture. Finally, by including versions of varying levels of optimization of the same fundamental algorithm, the benchmarks present opportunities to demonstrate tools and architectures that help programmers get the most out of their parallel hardware. Less optimized versions are presented as challenges to the compiler and architecture research communities: to develop the technology that automatically raises the performance of simpler implementations to the performance level of sophisticated programmer-optimized implementations, or demonstrate any other performance or programmability improvements. We hope that these benchmarks will facilitate effective demonstrations of such technology.
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