Accelerating Agent-Based Ecosystem Models Using the Cell Broadband Engine
This paper investigates how the parallel streaming capabilities of the Cell Broadband Engine can be used to speed up a class of agent-based plankton models generated from a domain-specific model compiler called the Virtual Ecology Workbench (VEW). We show that excellent speed-ups over a conventional x86 platform can be achieved for the agent update loop. We also show that scalability of the application as a whole is limited by the need to perform particle management, which splits and merges agents in order to keep the global agent count within specified bounds. Furthermore, we identify the size of the PPE L2 cache as the main hardware limitation for this process and give an indication of how to perform the required searches more efficiently.
KeywordsDirect Memory Access Cell Processor Parallel Speedup Cache Hierarchy Cell Broadband Engine
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