Characterizing the performance and energy attributes of scientific simulations

Sayaka Akioka, Konrad Malkowski, Padma Raghavan, Mary Jane Irwin, Lois Curfman McInnes, Boyana Norris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We characterize the performance and energy attributes of scientific applications based on nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs). where the dominant cost is that of sparse linear system solution. We obtain performance and energy metrics using cycle-accurate emulations on a processor and memory system derived from the PowerPC RISC architecture with extensions to resemble the processor in the BlueGene/L. These results indicate that low-power modes of CPUs such as Dynamic Voltage Scaling (DVS) can indeed result in energy savings at the expense of performance degradation. We then consider the impact of certain memory subsystem optimizations to demonstrate that these optimizations in conjunction with DVS can provide faster execution time and lower energy consumption. For example, on the optimized architecture, if DVS is used to scale down the processor to 600MHz, execution times are faster by 45% with energy reductions of 75% compared to the original architecture at IGHz. The insights gained from this study can help scientific applications better utilize the low-power modes of processors as well as guide the selection of hardware optimizations in future power-aware, high-performance computers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputational Science - ICCS 2006
Subtitle of host publication6th International Conference, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)3540343792, 9783540343790
StatePublished - 2006
EventICCS 2006: 6th International Conference on Computational Science - Reading, United Kingdom
Duration: May 28 2006May 31 2006

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume3991 LNCS - I
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


OtherICCS 2006: 6th International Conference on Computational Science
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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