Visualizing Execution Traces with Task Dependencies

TitleVisualizing Execution Traces with Task Dependencies
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHaugen, B., S. Richmond, J. Kurzak, C. A. Steed, and J. Dongarra
Conference Name2nd Workshop on Visual Performance Analysis (VPA '15)
Date Published2015-11
Conference LocationAustin, TX
AbstractTask-based scheduling has emerged as one method to reduce the complexity of parallel computing. When using task-based schedulers, developers must frame their computation as a series of tasks with various data dependencies. The scheduler can take these tasks, along with their input and output dependencies, and schedule the task in parallel across a node or cluster. While these schedulers simplify the process of parallel software development, they can obfuscate the performance characteristics of the execution of an algorithm. The execution trace has been used for many years to give developers a visual representation of how their computations are performed. These methods can be employed to visualize when and where each of the tasks in a task-based algorithm is scheduled. In addition, the task dependencies can be used to create a directed acyclic graph (DAG) that can also be visualized to demonstrate the dependencies of the various tasks that make up a workload. The work presented here aims to combine these two data sets and extend execution trace visualization to better suit task-based workloads. This paper presents a brief description of task-based schedulers and the performance data they produce. It will then describe an interactive extension to the current trace visualization methods that combines the trace and DAG data sets. This new tool allows users to gain a greater understanding of how their tasks are scheduled. It also provides a simplified way for developers to evaluate and debug the performance of their scheduler.
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