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Parallelizing Operational Weather Forecast Models For Portable and Fast Execution


This paper describes a high-level library (The Nearest Neighbor Tool, NNT) that has been used to parallelize operational weather prediction models. NNT is part of the Scalable Modeling System (SMS), developed at the Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL). Programs written in NNT rely on SMS's run-time system and port between a wide range of computing platforms, performing well in multiprocessor systems. We show, using examples from operational weather models, how large Fortran 77 codes can be parallelized using NNT. We compare the ease of programmability of NNT and High Performance Fortran (HPF). We also discuss optimizations like data movement overlap (in interprocessor communication and I/O operations), and the minimization of data exchanges through the use of redundant computations. We show that although HPF provides a simpler programming interface, NNT allows for program optimizations that increase performance considerably and still keeps a simple user interface. These optimizations have proven essential to run weather prediction models in real time, and HPF compilers should incorporate them in order to meet operational demands. Throughout the paper, we present performance results of weather models running on a network of workstations, the Intel Paragon, and the SGI Challenge. Finally, we study the cost of programming global address space architectures with NNT's local address space paradigm. (C) 1996 Academic Press, Inc.

Article / Publication Data
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Fiscal Year
Publication Name
Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing
Published On
January 01, 1996
Publisher Name
Academic Press Inc Jnl Comp Subscriptions
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