Computer Science Technical Reports
CS at VT

Load-Varying LINPACK: A Benchmark for Evaluating Energy Efficiency in High-End Computing

Subramaniam, Balaji and Feng, Wu-chun (2010) Load-Varying LINPACK: A Benchmark for Evaluating Energy Efficiency in High-End Computing. Technical Report TR-10-16, Computer Science, Virginia Tech.

Full text available as:
PDF - Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader or other PDF viewer.
LV_LINPACK_TR.pdf (3757786)


For decades, performance has driven the high-end computing (HEC) community. However, as highlighted in recent exascale studies that chart a path from petascale to exascale computing, power consumption is fast becoming the major design constraint in HEC. Consequently, the HEC community needs to address this issue in future petascale and exascale computing systems. Current scientific benchmarks, such as LINPACK and SPEChpc, only evaluate HEC systems when running at full throttle, i.e., 100% workload, resulting in a focus on performance and ignoring the issues of power and energy consumption. In contrast, efforts like SPECpower evaluate the energy efficiency of a compute server at varying workloads. This is analogous to evaluating the energy efficiency (i.e., fuel efficiency) of an automobile at varying speeds (e.g., miles per gallon highway versus city). SPECpower, however, only evaluates the energy efficiency of a single compute server rather than a HEC system; furthermore, it is based on SPEC's Java Business Benchmarks (SPECjbb) rather than a scientific benchmark. Given the absence of a load-varying scientific benchmark to evaluate the energy efficiency of HEC systems at different workloads, we propose the load-varying LINPACK (LV-LINPACK) benchmark. In this paper, we identify application parameters that affect performance and provide a methodology to vary the workload of LINPACK, thus enabling a more rigorous study of energy efficiency in supercomputers, or more generally, HEC.

Item Type:Departmental Technical Report
Subjects:Computer Science > Numerical Analysis
ID Code:1136
Deposited By:Administrator, Eprints
Deposited On:08 December 2010