Visualization of Memory Access Behavior on Hierarchical NUMA Architectures

Benjamin Weyers, Christian Terboven, Dirk Schmidl, Joachim Herber, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen, Matthias Stefan Müller, Bernd Hentschel
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Visual Performance Analysis (2014)

The available memory bandwidth of existing high performance computing platforms turns out as being more and more the limitation to various applications. Therefore, modern microarchitectures integrate the memory controller on the processor chip, which leads to a non-uniform memory access behavior of such systems. This access behavior in turn entails major challenges in the development of shared memory parallel applications. An improperly implemented memory access functionality results in a bad ratio between local and remote memory access, and causes low performance on such architectures. To address this problem, the developers of such applications rely on tools to make these kinds of performance problems visible. This work presents a new tool for the visualization of performance data of the non-uniform memory access behavior. Because of the visual design of the tool, the developer is able to judge the severity of remote memory access in a time-dependent simulation, which is currently not possible using existing tools.

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