Parallel K-means Clustering of Geospatiotemporal Data Sets Using Manycore CPU Architectures

Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 08:00
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The increasing availability of high-resolution geospatiotemporal data sets from sources such as observatory networks, remote sensing platforms, and computational Earth system models has opened new possibilities for knowledge discovery and mining of weather, climate, ecological, and other geoscientific data sets fused from disparate sources. Many of the standard tools used on individual workstations are impractical for the analysis and synthesis of data sets of this size; however, new algorithmic approaches that can effectively utilize the complex memory hierarchies and the extremely high levels of available parallelism in state-of-the-art high-performance computing platforms can enable such analysis. Here, we describe pKluster, an open-source tool we have developed for accelerated k-means clustering of geospatiotemporal data, and discuss algorithmic modifications and code optimizations we have made to enable it to effectively use parallel machines based on novel CPU architectures -- such as the Intel "Knights Landing" Xeon Phi and Skylake Xeon processors -- with many cores and hardware threads, and employing significant single instruction, multiple data (SIMD) parallelism. We describe several applications of the code in ecology and climate science contexts and discuss the performance of the code for these applications.

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