Multi-level Parallelism for Incompressible Flow Computations on GPU Clusters

Dana A. Jacobsen, Inanc Senocak
Boise State University
Parallel Computing, 2012


   title={Multi-level Parallelism for Incompressible Flow Computations on GPU Clusters},

   author={Jacobsen, D.A. and Senocak, I.},

   journal={Parallel Computing},




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We investigate multi-level parallelism on GPU clusters with MPI-CUDA and hybrid MPI-OpenMP-CUDA parallel implementations, in which all computations are done on the GPU using CUDA. We explore efficiency and scalability of incompressible flow computations using up to 256 GPUs on a problem with approximately 17.2 billion cells. Our work addresses some of the unique issues faced when merging fine-grain parallelism on the GPU using CUDA with coarse-grain parallelism that use either MPI or MPI-OpenMP for communications. We present three different strategies to overlap computations with communications, and systematically assess their impact on parallel performance on two different GPU clusters. Our results for strong and weak scaling analysis of incompressible flow computations demonstrate that GPU clusters offer significant benefits for large data sets, and a dual-level MPI-CUDA implementation with maximum overlapping of computation and communication provides substantial benefits in performance. We also find that our tri-level MPI-OpenMP-CUDA parallel implementation does not offer a significant advantage in performance over the dual-level implementation on GPU clusters with two GPUs per node, but on clusters with higher GPU counts per node or with different domain decomposition strategies a tri-level implementation may exhibit higher efficiency than a dual-level implementation and needs to be investigated further.
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