A hierarchical approach to workload characterization for parallel systems
Performance evaluation studies are to be an integral part of the design and tuning of parallel applications. We propose a hierarchical approach to the systematic characterization of the workload of a parallel system, to be kept as modular and flexible as possible. The methodology is based on three different, but related, layers: the application, the algorithm, and the routine layer. For each of these layers different characteristics representing functional, sequential, parallel, and quantitative descriptions have been identified. These characteristics are specified in a system independent way to clearly separate between the workload description and the architecture description. Taking also architectural and mapping features into consideration, the hierarchical workload characterization can be applied to any type of performance studies.
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