Development of a Cloud Resolving Model for Heterogeneous Supercomputers

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 08:00
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A cloud resolving climate model is needed to reduce major systematic errors in climate simulations due to structural uncertainty in numerical treatments of convection – such as convective storm systems. This research describes the porting effort to enable SAM (System for Atmosphere Modeling) cloud resolving model on heterogeneous supercomputers using GPUs (Graphical Processing Units).

We have isolated a standalone configuration of SAM that is targeted to be integrated into the DOE ACME (Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy) Earth System model. We have identified key computational kernels from the model and offloaded them to a GPU using the OpenACC programming model. Furthermore, we are investigating various optimization strategies intended to enhance GPU utilization including loop fusion/fission, coalesced data access and loop refactoring to a higher abstraction level. We will present early performance results, lessons learned as well as optimization strategies.

The computational platform used in this study is the Summitdev system, an early testbed that is one generation removed from Summit, the next leadership class supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The system contains 54 nodes wherein each node has 2 IBM POWER8 CPUs and 4 NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs.

This work is part of a larger project, ACME-MMF component of the U.S. Department of Energy(DOE) Exascale Computing Project. The ACME-MMF approach addresses structural uncertainty in cloud processes by replacing traditional parameterizations with cloud resolving “superparameterization” within each grid cell of global climate model. Super-parameterization dramatically increases arithmetic intensity, making the MMF approach an ideal strategy to achieve good performance on emerging exascale computing architectures. The goal of the project is to integrate superparameterization into ACME, and explore its full potential to scientifically and computationally advance climate simulation and prediction.

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