A Generic Strategy for Dynamic Load Balancing of Distributed Memory Parallel Computational Mechanics using Unstructured Meshes

A. Arulananthan, S. P. Johnson, K. McManus, C. Walshaw and M. Cross


A large class of computational problems are characterised by frequent synchronisation, and computational requirements which change as a function of time. When such a problem is solved on a message passing multiprocessor machine [], the combination of these characteristics leads to system performance which deteriorate in time. As the communication performance of parallel hardware steadily improves so load balance becomes a dominant factor in obtaining high parallel effciency. Performance can be improved with periodic redistribution of computational load; however, redistribution can sometimes be very costly. We study the issue of deciding when to invoke a global load re-balancing mechanism. Such a decision policy must effectively weigh the costs of remapping against the performance benefits, and should be general enough to apply automatically to a wide range of computations. This paper discusses a generic strategy for Dynamic Load Balancing (DLB) in unstructured mesh computational mechanics applications. The strategy is intended to handle varying levels of load changes throughout the run. The major issues involved in a generic dynamic load balancing scheme will be investigated together with techniques to automate the implementation of a dynamic load balancing mechanism within the Computer Aided Parallelisation Tools (CAPTools) environment, which is a semi-automatic tool for parallelisation of mesh based FORTRAN codes [1].


C. S. Ierotheou, S. P. Johnson, M. Cross, and P. F. Leggett. Computer aided parallelisation tools (CAPTools) - conceptual overview and performance on the parallelisation of structured mesh codes. Parallel Comput., 22:163-195, 1996.

Fri Aug 13 13:42:19 BST 2004