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Ph.D. Theses

Instrumentation Database Approach to the Performance Analysis of Parallel and Object Oriented Scientific Applications

By Jeffrey Nesheiwat
Advisor: Boleslaw K. Szymanski
October 19, 2000

The purpose of this research is to critically investigate the state of the art in performance analysis for scientific computing and then propose and demonstrate through implementation, the feasibility of a novel approach to performance analysis and experiment design. The core of this approach is an Instrumentation Database (IDB) that enables comparative analysis of parallel code performance across architectures and algorithms.

The basis of the IDB approach is scalable collection of performance data so that problem size and run-time environments do not effect the amount of information collected. This is achieved by uncoupling performance data from the underlying architecture and associating it with the control flow graph of the program. Another important contribution of the IDB approach is the use of database technology to map program structure onto relational schema that represent the program structure, its corresponding statistical data, and static information that describes the execution environment.

To demonstrate the benefits of this approach, we have implemented a POSIX compliant probe library, automated instrumentation tool, front-end visualization programs, database schema using an object-relational DBMS (PostgreSQL), and SQL queries. We also developed a methodology, based on these tools, for interactive performance analysis that we demonstrated by analyzing several different parallel scientific applications.

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