High Performance Radiation Transport Simulations: Preparing for TITAN

C. Baker, G. Davidson, T. M. Evans, S. Hamilton, J. Jarrell, W. Joubert
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN USA
International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC ’12), 2012


   title={High performance radiation transport simulations: preparing for Titan},

   author={Baker, C. and Davidson, G. and Evans, TM and Hamilton, S. and Jarrell, J. and Joubert, W.},

   booktitle={Proceedings of the International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis},



   organization={IEEE Computer Society Press}


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In this paper we describe the Denovo code system. Denovo solves the six-dimensional, steady-state, linear Boltzmann transport equation, of central importance to nuclear technology applications such as reactor core analysis (neutronics), radiation shielding, nuclear forensics and radiation detection. The code features multiple spatial differencing schemes, state-of-the-art linear solvers, the Koch-Baker-Alcouffe (KBA) parallel-wavefront sweep algorithm for inverting the transport operator, a new multilevel energy decomposition method scaling to hundreds of thousands of processing cores, and a modern, novel code architecture that supports straightforward integration of new features. In this paper we discuss the performance of Denovo on the 20+ petaflop ORNL GPU-based system, Titan. We describe algorithms and techniques used to exploit the capabilities of Titan’s heterogeneous compute node architecture and the challenges of obtaining good parallel performance for this sparse hyperbolic PDE solver containing inherently sequential computations. Numerical results demonstrating Denovo performance on early Titan hardware are presented.
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