The Unified Model (UM) is a model produced by the UK MetOffice for Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and climate simulation. It is used extensively by various university, government and other research organizations on the large supercomputer hosted at the National Computing Infrastructure (NCI). A 3-year collaboration between NCI, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Fujitsu is underway to address performance and scalability issues in the UM on NCI’s supercomputer, Raijin.

IO performance in the UM is the most dominant factor in its overall performance. The IO server approach employed is sophisticated and requires proper calibration to achieve acceptable performance. Global synchronization and file lock contention is a problem that can be remedied with simple MPI global collective calls. Complimentary IO strategies, such as MPI-IO and directed IO, are being investigated for implementation.

The OpenMP implementation employed in the UM is investigated, and is found to have inefficiencies that are detrimental to the load balance of the model. Only loop-wise parallelism is employed. Due to the inherently imbalanced nature of the model, a task-wise approach could yield improved threading efficiency.


unified model numerical weather prediction performance analysis high performance computing 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale Roberts
    • 1
  • Mark Cheeseman
    • 1
  1. 1.National Computational InfrastructureCanberraAustralia

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