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GT4Py: High Performance Stencils for Weather and Climate Applications using Python

Enrique G. Paredes, Linus Groner, Stefano Ubbiali, Hannes Vogt, Alberto Madonna, Kean Mariotti, Felipe Cruz, Lucas Benedicic, Mauro Bianco, Joost VandeVondele, Thomas C. Schulthess
Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS), ETH Zurich
arXiv:2311.08322 [cs.DC], (14 Nov 2023)

@misc{paredes2023gt4py,

   title={GT4Py: High Performance Stencils for Weather and Climate Applications using Python},

   author={Enrique G. Paredes and Linus Groner and Stefano Ubbiali and Hannes Vogt and Alberto Madonna and Kean Mariotti and Felipe Cruz and Lucas Benedicic and Mauro Bianco and Joost VandeVondele and Thomas C. Schulthess},

   year={2023},

   eprint={2311.08322},

   archivePrefix={arXiv},

   primaryClass={cs.DC}

}

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All major weather and climate applications are currently developed using languages such as Fortran or C++. This is typical in the domain of high performance computing (HPC), where efficient execution is an important concern. Unfortunately, this approach leads to implementations that intermix optimizations for specific hardware architectures with the high-level numerical methods that are typical for the domain. This leads to code that is verbose, difficult to extend and maintain, and difficult to port to different hardware architectures. Here, we propose a different strategy based on GT4Py (GridTools for Python). GT4Py is a Python framework to write weather and climate applications that includes a high-level embedded domain specific language (DSL) to write stencil computations. The toolchain integrated in GT4Py enables automatic code-generation,to obtain the performance of state-of-the-art C++ and CUDA implementations. The separation of concerns between the mathematical definitions and the actual implementations allows for performance portability of the computations on a wide range of computing architectures, while being embedded in Python allows easy access to the tools of the Python ecosystem to enhance the productivity of the scientists and facilitate integration in complex workflows. Here, the initial release of GT4Py is described, providing an overview of the current state of the framework and performance results showing how GT4Py can outperform pure Python implementations by orders of magnitude.
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