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Marlon Bright :: Blog

July 21, 2008

ACTIVITIES:

This past week we worked on getting Aprof to function properly on MareNostrum.  We amended Aprof’s source code to fix the way that it inputs data.  We amended Amon’s source code to account for the different version of Linux that is installed on MareNostrum in comparison to GCB and Mind.  We developed a script to combine the Amon outputs from each node into one file and to properly configure the data into a Aprof readable format.  We, also, worked to generate predictions using Dimemas and received a demonstration from the Dimemas developer. Personally, I worked extensively on my 2nd REU Progress presentation and a bit on my Linux studies as time allowed. 
 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
In this part, please only mention your significant accomplishments that you have not reported previously. Note that you do not have to have an accomplishment each week.

-Aprof source code successfully amended

-Aprof functioning properly-Amon source code successfully amended

-WRF v. 2.2 compiled on Mind
 

ISSUES/PROBLEMS:
In this part, please mention the minor and major problems that you are facing in your research.

-We are still faced with some decisions on what we are going to do about the different versions of WRF installed at the different sites, GCB, Mind, and MareNostrum.  This is an important issue if we want to be able to make comparisons between the results generated on each of the different clusters. Right now v. 2.2 is installed on Mind and GCB and v.2.2.1 is installed on MareNostrum 

PLANS:
In this part, please mention your short- and long-term plans for the weeks and months to com.  

At this point we have obtained objectives 1, 3a, and 3b, and we are continuing to work on objectives 2 & 4. As this is our final week, we have set out two special objectives to complete before going home or shortly thereafter.   

1.      Get Aprof query automation and comparison script up and functioning properly on MareNostrum.  Obtain a results set of Aprof predictions for the different scenarios we are simulating for.

2.      Have full knowledge of how to run Dimemas simulations and set up Dimemas simulations so that the project can get its first look at comparison of the two tools. 

These are our main objectives to close out our experience here at the BSC.  Once these are complete, we can reassess the specific goal of the research with the first results and prepare to arrive at our significant conclusions by the end of the summer.  With this we will keep in mind the prediction accuracy of Aprof and Dimemas and how they compare and contrast to each other.  This should allow us to improve our approach and present our significant follow-up findings.   

Personally, I will continue my studies in the Linux platform. 

Barcelona Research Objectives 

Overall Objective: Achieve accurate and timely performance prediction on compute cluster to be used in Grid Computing Environment Meta-Scheduling. 

1.      Get mpidtrace linking properly with WRF compiled on GCB, then Mind. GCB COMPLETED

2.      Use generated MPI tracefiles (Paraver and Dimemas) to do prediction between Mind and GCB IN PROGRESS

3.      a) Install Amon and Aprof on MareNostrum. COMPLETED

b) Run benchmarks on MareNostrum FIRST RUNS COMPLETED

4.      Experiment with how well Amon and Aprof scale to larger number of nodes IN PROGRESS

5.      Analyze how Amon and Aprof relate to/could possibly combined with Dimemas.

6.      Work with  Marc to see how we can optimize the gridification of WRF 

SUMMARIES/CRITIQUES OF PAPERS: 

Readings temporarily satisfied.

Posted by Marlon Bright | 0 comment(s)

July 17, 2008

London, United Kingdom

Top of the Day to you!  Well, the final week has come.  We are scheduled to return to the United States this coming Friday, July 18.  With this is mind, I was planning to just hang out in Barcelona this weekend, review some of my favorite sites in Barcelona, and perhaps take in some sun at the beach.  However, it is my belief that man may plan his steps, but the Lord orders his ways. So, to make a long story short, I ended up in London, England, this weekend. 

I was a bit annoyed upon my arrival to London’s Stanstead airport as I was grilled by the customs agent as to the purpose of my visit to the UK.  I thought, “What do most people do when they come from a different country to London?  They come to see the sites?”  However, the agent proceeded to ask me what I was doing coming from Spain and then if I had any documentation to prove that I was doing a research internship there as I told her.  This was interesting because I had never thought that I needed to carry documentation around proving that I was working in Spain for the summer.  Of course, I knew to carry my passport and a copy of my passport in a separate place, but I had not considered having this other documentation.  The way she spoke to me, I thought that this was something that was common sense to know.  Regardless, I knew that I had a valid US passport so that there was really no reason why she should have given me a hard time.  This was the first country in the five now that I have been to that has given me any trouble on entering the country with a US passport and go figure it to be our close friends (or so they say), the English.  In fact, besides when I first entered the European Union in Spain I have not had to show my passport again upon entering the new country.  England is part of the European Union in name but as I was soon to find out, their affiliation to the rest of the European Union wasn’t much more than via name. 

Once I passed through customs, I was in for another big wake-up call in the exchange rate between the British pound and the US Dollar.  I thought that the dollar really stunk in comparison to the Euro, but it is even worse with the British Pound.  One British Pound is, essentially, two dollars!  I was talking with someone who informed me that this was not the case as little as three years ago when the Dollar and the Pound were essentially of equal worth.  And then he asked, “I wonder what has happened in the last three years to change this?”  Now, I know that the American economy has worsened a bit in this time frame, but so has the global economy in general, and not to the point that the dollar is that week.  In my opinion, I could tell him what has happened in that time frame and his name is George Bush.  Much like a company’s stock price goes down when investors lose faith in the leadership of the company, a country’s currency goes down on the market when people lose faith in that county’s leader. And judging by the feedback that I got during my stay in England (and every other country I have visited—France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal), we have to do something about this and another of other issues and his name is Barack Obama! 

While in London I did the usual sight-seeing—Westminter Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the London Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, etc. . However, there were a few experiences that invoked a lot of thought from me.  The first of these was the “Changing of the Guards” ceremony that takes place in front of Buckingham Palace each day at 11:30 am.  That’s right, I said “each day”.  For those of you who are not familiar with what this ceremony is, it is supposed to be the ceremony that signifies the change in the soldiers who are guarding Buckingham Palace, the resident in which the Queen lives in.  From the name, this sounds pretty simple, but it is anything but that and to be perfectly honest all of the pomp and circumstance is completely unnecessary and is obviously only a show for tourists.  The ceremony involves I would say nearly 100 British troops decked out in their red coats and their funny hats.  A band, troops on foot, and troops on horseback march into the gates of Buckingham Palace and, basically, don’t do much more than walk around in a fancy way for thirty minutes (!) and then march out leaving the 3 or 4 who are normally there.  My question was if it was absolutely necessary to have all of these troops take part in ceremony for the guarding of one person!  The other funny thing about it was that as the troops march in and out of the palace gates, they were escorted by the police!  I laugh as I thought about the US in parallel.  We would look plain foolish if we did this out in front of the White House each day and I think that we have better usage for our militia men.  I guess that this is the reason that we beat the British in 1776 and in 1812! 

The next really interesting thought that came to my mind was as I was riding a tour bus through what is known as “Piccadilly Circus”.  Now, does not imply what we would normally think this to be.  Piccadilly Circus is not actually a “circus” but rather a large intersection.  I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit when the tour guide referred to the square as being sort of like New York’s Times Square.  And I thought to myself, “He must be crazy? Or rather he has not been to New York’s Times Square.”  Yeah, Picadilly Circus is pretty busy and has a few billboards, but it lacks several tall buildings, more billboards, a lot more light, and few thousand people and is, therefore, far from Times Square!  The comparison would have been nice for them, but no, it’s not exactly accurate. 

The final interesting thought came when I was on a walking tour of “Royal” London, fittingly, led by an Australian tour guide.  I was very much so interested when he talked about the War Cabinet Rooms which were used by the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and the rest of the government during the German bombing raids on London in World War II.  The tour guide was actually quite good and he knew a good bit about the history of England and London, but he was a little too boastful for my taste, especially since he was not English but Australian.  Admittedly, I am a very proud American so we were bound to conflict on a few things. When we got to the Cabinet War Rooms stop on the tour he began to talk about the man who was voted the most popular British person in history by the British people, Winston Churchill.  He went on and on about how Churchill rallied a country with not much hope against Hitler’s war machine by saying that they will continue to fight the battle and shall never give up.  He then went on to say, in effect, that thus Churchill was the savior of Britain and the world in this conflict.  Again, I chuckled a bit…  I agree that Churchill was a great leader during this time, but my only objection was that Churchill had a little help in that winning the war part, specifically, coming from across the Atlantic Ocean.  At this the tour guide countered that  Great Britain had been fighting the war long before the Americans got involved and that he wouldn’t debate it too much further as there were other Americans in the tour that might get offended.  I accepted that, but I did have to counter with a couple of facts, lest he forget… First of all, it is true, Great Britain had been involved in the conflict since 1939. But even then, they were getting some American help in the loads of supplies that were shipped to Great Britain and the naval protection (granted German subs still reeked havoc) provided by the US Navy for British North Atlantic supply convoys.  I then, also, stated that obviously Great Britain wasn’t making much progress in the war as Great Britain was only losing ground as France would fall to Nazi Germany and expel the British from fighting on the European continent all the while as London continued to be bombarded with bombs by the German Luftwaft. 

Great Britain did have some success in fighting in North Africa, but the tides did not really turn until the Japenese dropped attack the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor and awoke a sleeping giant.  In my eyes, this was a major turning point in the war.  With this America shipped troops off to Europe to join the fighting.  When Allied troops made their return to the European continent in 1944 there were 10,000 more American troops than there were British troops that landed on the beaches of Normandy.  Churchill had help! Furthermore, this increased offensive on the western front allowed Russia to make advancements on the eastern front.  Churchill had help!  The French capital of Paris was liberated by the Free French Army who were ultimately under the command of U.S. General Omar Bradley, and two days later those were American troops that paraded through the Arc de Triomph in Paris and celebrated as liberators and not British.  Churchill had help!  But, I didn’t go into all of this for the sake of the tour, but I made the point clear.  Furthermore, the guy was Australian, not British so he couldn’t debate too far (I know that Australia is under the Queen as well, but still…it is supposed to be its own country)! 

Well, my trip to London wrapped up my weekend excursions for this experience, and what a wonderful experience this was!  It was quite a privilege to visit 5 countries and as many capital cities—Barcelona and Madrid, Spain; Paris, France; Rome, Naples, and Pompeii, Italy; Lisbon, Portugal; and London, United Kingdom.  However, from what I have seen of Europe, there is no place like the USA!  For instance, while the government center areas of these cities are impressive, they cannot compare to Washington, D.C.; and while these major European cities themselves are impressive, they cannot compare to New York, NY.  Furthermore, most of the countries over here have one, two, or three major cities that you can name by first name alone and everyone will know what you are referring to (i.e. Madrid, Paris, Rome, London, etc.).  The United States has numerous cities that, in my opinion, you could name without any further explanation (i.e. New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, …).  I guess this can be attributed to the fact that, essentially, one of our states equals one European country.  This is what makes America so great, beautiful, and diverse in its geography and its people!  So, this experience has been wonderful and I have gained so much from it, but I am certainly proud and love the passport that I hold, the land of the free and the home of the brave, from sea to shining sea, from California to the New York island, the stars and stripes, the USA!

You can view the full London album at:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2141593&l=21783&i

Keywords: Day 60, London, PIRE

Posted by Marlon Bright | 0 comment(s)

July 08, 2008

The Barcelona SuperComputing Center (BSC) - Barcelona, Spain

As promised in previous post, I wanted to follow up and post up my work environment so that everyone can get the feel of it.  On the last post, I depicted the main working building of the BSC, my office building, my office, and the guys that we are working with in this office.  In this post I will introduce my advisor over here, Dr. Rosa Badia, and her entire team of researchers and I will show pictures of the supercomputer that we are working on.  Pay close attention to where this machine is housed, it will give you a good kick for the day.

 

 Above is a picture of Dr. Badia's (front row, third from left) research team including myself and fellow partner from FIU, Javier Delgado, in the back row (with the FIU shirts on). Dr. Badia's research focus is Grid Computing.

 

This building is located in a park right next to campus and is now, infact, part of the campus.  It used to be a chapel when it was part of an all girls school.  When that school closed and the property was given to UPC, the chapel was "un-holified" (if that is a word) and was used for various different purposes including meetings.  Currently, we could just refer to it as the Chapel of MareNostrum, haha.  That's right, MareNostrum, approximately the 5th largest supercomputer in the world is located in... a chapel.  The reason behind this was that this was the largest and most secure available space when the BSC was looking for a place to install MareNostrum.  And so it was...10,204 cpus in...a chapel.

This is the supercomputer MareNostrum inside what used to be a chapel.

And finally, back across campus at the office we have my partner, Javier, working across from me as we try to adapt Amon and Aprof to the different archtitecture of MareNostrum.

Keywords: Barcelona, Day 55, PIRE

Posted by Marlon Bright | 0 comment(s)

ACTIVITIES:
This past week we worked to get Aprof running properly on MareNostrum.  We are encountering quite a bit of difficulty in getting Aprof to read Amon’s input files and are working to adjust the way that Aprof reads the input data.   We were also able to generate a Dimemas tracefile for WRF on MareNostrum and we plan to ask for a demonstration on the full usage of Dimemas from our colleagues in the office. Personally, I finished my readings of related works papers and continued my personal studies into Linux platforms. 
 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
In this part, please only mention your significant accomplishments that you have not reported previously. Note that you do not have to have an accomplishment each week.

-Dimemas tracefile successfully generated on MareNostrum

-Related works readings completed.
 

ISSUES/PROBLEMS:
In this part, please mention the minor and major problems that you are facing in your research.

-The major issue that we are dealing with right now is the fact that Aprof is not reading/loading Amon’s output information.  From the previous research we kept in mind that the direct output from Amon had to be edited in order to be input to Aprof.  We made the alterations to the Amon output as specified in past emails, but the data still did not load.  We are in the process of troubleshooting this problem (including exploring the editing of the way Aprof reads in information) in order to solicit predictions from Aprof.

-In our benchmarks we are finding that for some reason either MareNostrum is not starting a WRF process on one of the nodes in each run or that Amon is not catching a WRF process on one node in each run.  We will investigate further and see how this may possibly affect Aprof’s predictions.

-We are still faced with some decisions on what we are going to do about the different versions of WRF installed at the different sites, GCB, Mind, and MareNostrum.  This is an important issue if we want to be able to make comparisons between the results generated on each of the different clusters. 

PLANS:
In this part, please mention your short- and long-term plans for the weeks and months to com.  

At this point we have obtained objectives 1, 3a, and 3b, and we are continuing to work on objectives 2 & 4.  We have had a bit of a hang up on objective four with Aprof, but we are working through this and expect proper functionalit very soon.  As stated last week, we will be primarily focused on seeing how well Amon/Aprof scale to larger numbers of nodes and the different architecture of MareNostrum along with making comparisons and contrasts with Dimemas for the remainder of our stay.  Specifically, it is essential that we get Aprof functioning and predicting properly next week.  We, also, intend to get a full, first hand tutorial of Dimemas in order to effectively use it.  From there we will assess how to be able to possibly make comparisons between the different clusters through installing the same versions of WRF at each location. 

Personally, I will continue my studies in the Linux platform. 

Barcelona Research Objectives 

Overall Objective: Achieve accurate and timely performance prediction on compute cluster to be used in Grid Computing Environment Meta-Scheduling. 

1.      Get mpidtrace linking properly with WRF compiled on GCB, then Mind. GCB COMPLETED

2.      Use generated MPI tracefiles (Paraver and Dimemas) to do prediction between Mind and GCB IN PROGRESS

3.      a) Install Amon and Aprof on MareNostrum. COMPLETED

b) Run benchmarks on MareNostrum FIRST RUNS COMPLETED

4.      Experiment with how well Amon and Aprof scale to larger number of nodes IN PROGRESS

5.      Analyze how Amon and Aprof relate to/could possibly combined with Dimemas.

6.      Work with  Marc to see how we can optimize the gridification of WRF 

SUMMARIES/CRITIQUES OF PAPERS: 

In this part, please include a short review of the papers you have read during the last week. The review should include three short paragraphs for each paper. The first paragraph should be a short summary of the paper; The second paragraph should include a short critique of the paper; and The last paragraph should include a discussion on how this paper is related to your research.

Review: An architectural blueprint for autonomic computing.                                                    

This paper and the paper that I previously read [2] were, as their names suggest, very similarly in that their purpose was to lay out a foundation for autonomic computing by describing what the vision for it is and what some of its components are.  They both had the same general definition for what autonomic computing was—that is a computing environment that manages itself and dynamically adapts to change in accordance with high level policies set by an administrator—and the same goals for the system—self-configuring, self-healing, self-optimizing, and self-protecting.   

With this is mind there is really nothing new to report on in this review.  The paper was well written and it really gave you an idea of the goal that autonomic computing was progressing towards.  Essentially, it is an effort to make the human level management of increasingly complex systems more feasible over the long run by removing as much of the manual administration as possible. They did make it clear that this was certainly a process that would evolve as administrators were able to trust the technology to perform these tasks on its own.   The paper then went into detail describing the different aspects of the autonomic system from the manual managers (human administrators) down through the autonomic managers, monitoring systems, and touch points of the environments until you got to the actual resources themselves that existed as both hardware and software.  A major point was made that due to the scope of the topic, no one vendor could provide a complete end-to-end solution so some industry standards had to be adopted so that the heterogeneous components of a given system could interact smoothly with each other as well as other systems. 

Again, as I furthered detailed in my review of [2] my research is a step in the direction of an autonomic grid computing environment that does not rely on the human user to specify details about the application or resources that he or she may not know very well.  Our research is working towards putting scheduling decisions and optimizations in the hands of the system scheduler (or meta-scheduler) by providing it the means of making accurate predictions about the performance of an application on a given set of resources. 

Reference:

[1] An Architectural Blueprint for Autonomic Computing. June 2005, 3rd ed.http://www-03.ibm.com/autonomic/pdfs/AC%20Blueprint%20White%20Paper%20V7.pdf 

[2] Steve R. White, James E. Hanson, Ian Whalley, David M. Chess, and Jeffrey O. Kephart. An architectural approach to autonomic computing. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Autonomic Computing (ICAC'04), pages 2-9. IEEE Computer Society, 2004. 

Posted by Marlon Bright | 0 comment(s)

July 05, 2008

“Viva America!”  July 4th, what a great day for Americans!  As we all know well July 4th marks the anniversary for our great country declaring its independence from Great Britain in 1776.  So where better else for us to spend the holiday but in…Lisbon, Portugal (what?).  I know that doesn’t make any sense, but this was the weekend that offered the best prices for us to travel to Lisbon so we decided to take advantage of it.  I know that it would have been much sweeter had we traveled to London to celebrate the holiday and spite the locals.  However, we were proud Americans on July 4th so we made sure to incorporate some celebration and reflection.  July 4th , also, served as the two weeks remaining mark until we depart Barcelona and return to the United States and what better place to re-enter the country than the city from which we declared our independence, Philadelphia, PA.   

Lisbon, however, was a beautiful city and I am glad that we took the opportunity to visit.  It is just a little bit off the beaten path of the cities that American tourists usually visit on their excursions to Europe and that is why we chose it.  We figured that we should go now while close, because it would be highly unlikely that we would make a special trip back from the United States just to visit the Portuguese capital city.  And Lisbon was a very good choice since it is one of the cheaper cities that we have visited.  We got good deals on flights and lodging and stayed in a really pleasant hotel in the middle of most of the action of the city.  The food in Lisbon and surrounding areas was quite reasonable in price and good (a stark contrast, in my opinion, from Italy).  Furthermore, Portugal was a very nice, quaint, and picturesque destination.  It is filled with a distinct architecture and many narrow, cobblestone streets.  In addition, there are many historical sites and beaches to entertain oneself, but it was really just a pleasure to be in the city, relaxing and taking it easy a bit.   The people of Lisbon were very friendly as well, however, I have never been offered drugs so many times before in my life—and this was in the nice part of town.  Yes, I kid you not, we must have been offered marijuana and cocaine by seven different individuals in a really sort of open fashion on the first day of exploration.  The good thing was that this was the only real downside to Lisbon. 

 

Upon our arrival Thursday, one of the first places we decided to visit was Aqueductus Liveras—a large Roman aqueduct that served as a testament to Roman ingenuity.  There were many such aqueducts across the Roman Empire that were ages in advancement of providing irrigation and water to all areas of the Roman Empire. From the aqueduct we walked down the main avenue in Lisbon passing through the beautiful Eduardo VII Park with its impeccably trimmed greenery.  This was a real surprise and treat for me to stumble upon since I immediately remembered the park from the cover of a European travel magazine that my dad had given me to read (because of an article on Barcelona) before I left the United States.  At the time I did not read about what was on the cover, but I will certainly seek that magazine out when I return to get some narrative to go along with my first hand experience. 

 

Friday was the 4th of July and while I did not stage a large celebration like I would have liked to I still did what I could to commemorate the holiday.  As I have mentioned in previous posts this experience abroad has reconfirmed and deepened my pride in my country, especially with the present occurrences in the political race for the highest office in the land, doing much to prove the ideals that this country was founded on.  Naturally, on my country’s birthday, I busted out my Obama ’08 shirt to signify that I was a proud American.  In the morning, Javier, Juan, and I set out down the coast a bit from  Lisbon to Belem, a sort of suburb, that boast several beautiful monuments and castles set along the river that opens up to the Atlantic Ocean.  I wasn’t real sure what all of them were intended for, but they were nice none the less.  From Belen we continued a bit down the coast to Cascais which was a very nicely put together small town with some beautiful beaches.  These beaches were not Barcelona or Miami Beach, but they were nice none the less.  And the compact little town of Cascais was so picturesque, clean, culture filled, and such a pleasure to visit. 

After spending most of the afternoon on the shores of the Atlantic in Cascais we headed back to Lisbon.  The evening served as the main part of my celebration.  I tried to do as many American things as possible (which is not really that hard since our influence in Europe is on every corner…from McDonalds, to Burger King, to Coca-Cola, to Ford, to GM, to FedEx, to our movies, music, etc. one can take great pride in the influence of our country).  I ate dinner at the ‘Subway’ restaurant (which was next door to McDonald’s) not far from the hotel complete with pictures of the Big Apple (New York City) pasted across the wall paper.  After dinner I went to take in one of our most popular exports, our movies, and saw the new movie ‘Hancock’ which, by the way, was shown in its original English version with Portuguese subtitles displayed at the bottom of the screen for the native viewers!  In fact, all of the movies showing in that popular Lisbon movies theater were de Los Estados Unidos (from the United States)!  After the movie we walked home signing our national anthem throughout the streets of Lisbon! 

In reflection, July 4th is essentially a global holiday.  July 4th 1776 was a day that would prove to change the world and shift its dominating countries from France, Great Britain, and Spain to the symbol for freedom and opportunity, the United States. While we all know that we are far from perfection, the beautiful thing is that we do posses freedom, hope, and possibility.  Everything in our history has not been good.  Trust me, I descend from ancestors who were enslaved by this country and then legally segregated until just this past generation.  I am part of the first generation in my family not to pick cotton in America either as slaves or as sharecroppers!  But, as recent happenings evidence, we are a sincerely blessed country that may have its problems but strives to realize and improve them and keep the hope and ideals alive that it was founded upon and has made it what it is today.  The thing that makes our country so beautiful is its diversity both in its landscape and people.  That is what makes us who we are and strong.  It is the fact that people from all different heritages and unite together as one in the melting pot that is the US.  For the most part we were all, at one point in time in the not so distant past, immigrants (whether arriving by force or choice).  The United States is only 232 years old which is but a speck in the spectrum of time that is human existence!  Yet, in this short time we have risen to be the leaders of our globe.  With this, however, comes a great responsibility to be an example and a beacon of light to the rest of the world.  And in my opinion, the present developments in the political process of our country are a momentous step in that direction!

The full Lisbon album can be viewed at:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2138643&l=dee4a&i

Keywords: Day 52, Lisbon, PIRE

Posted by Marlon Bright | 0 comment(s)

June 30, 2008

The Barcelona SuperComputing Center (BSC)

So, by popular demad I will be posting up some pictures and descriptions of the BSC.  The BSC is located on the campus of the Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC) here in Zona Universitaria of Barcelona.

This is the main building of the BSC, NEXUS II.  This is where our advisor, Dr. Rosa Badia's office is and where we have our research meetings.  Along to the right there you will see half of the pretty decent sized hill that we must climb every day to our office in Edificio C6 (Building C6) where some other BSC Offices are.

This is inside Nexus II in the suite where Dr. Badia's office is.  Theoretically, we could be in here as well, but our desks are in C6 close to the developers of some of the software we are working with.

This is the Edificio C6, the building in which our office resides.

 

Here I am with the guys in our office who are the developers of Paraver and Dimemas, two of the tools that we are working with in our Research.

 And here are mine and Javier's desk conveniently located right next to the window (which I like a lot).  Of course, my desk is the one that is a little less cluttered.

Keywords: Barcelona, Day 48, PIRE

Posted by Marlon Bright | 0 comment(s)

ACTIVITIES:
This past week we were able to develop/fix bugs in our benchmarking script for executing WRF with Amon on MareNostrum and begin the execution of WRF benchmarks for 8, 16, 32, 64, 96, and 128 nodes (one process per node) and for the CPU power percentages of 25, 50, 75, and 100.   We were also able to generate a Paraver trace file for a WRF execution on MareNostrum, and began running benchmarks for Dimemas on GCB. Personally, I read two papers reviewed below and continued my studies for a more in depth understanding of Linux platforms. 
 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
In this part, please only mention your significant accomplishments that you have not reported previously. Note that you do not have to have an accomplishment each week.

-Amon benchmarking script successfully developed and first benchmarks ran on MareNostrum.

-Paraver trace file successfully generated on MareNostrum
 

ISSUES/PROBLEMS:
In this part, please mention the minor and major problems that you are facing in your research.

-In our benchmarks we are finding that for some reason either MareNostrum is not starting a WRF process on one of the nodes in each run or that Amon is not catching a WRF process on one node in each run.  We will investigate further and see how this may possibly affect Aprof’s predictions.

-We are still faced with some decisions on what we are going to do about the different versions of WRF installed at the different sites, GCB, Mind, and MareNostrum.  This is an important issue if we want to be able to make comparisons between the results generated on each of the different clusters. 

PLANS:
In this part, please mention your short- and long-term plans for the weeks and months to com.  

At this point we have obtained objectives 1, 3a, and 3b, and we are continuing to work on objectives 2 & 4.  For the remainder of our stay here at the BSC (as we only have two and a half weeks remaining), we will be primarily focused on seeing how well Amon/Aprof scale to larger numbers of nodes and the different architecture of MareNostrum along with making comparisons and contrasts with Dimemas.  Specifically, next week we will generate predictions from Aprof with the recorded data from Amon.  From there we will assess how to be able to possibly make comparisons between the different clusters through installing the same versions of WRF at each location. 

Personally, I should complete my related works paper readings for the summer this week. 

Barcelona Research Objectives 

Overall Objective: Achieve accurate and timely performance prediction on compute cluster to be used in Grid Computing Environment Meta-Scheduling. 

1.      Get mpidtrace linking properly with WRF compiled on GCB, then Mind. GCB COMPLETED

2.      Use generated MPI tracefiles (Paraver and Dimemas) to do prediction between Mind and GCB IN PROGRESS

3.      a) Install Amon and Aprof on MareNostrum. COMPLETED

b) Run benchmarks on MareNostrum FIRST RUNS COMPLETED

4.      Experiment with how well Amon and Aprof scale to larger number of nodes IN PROGRESS

5.      Analyze how Amon and Aprof relate to/could possibly combined with Dimemas.

6.      Work with  Marc to see how we can optimize the gridification of WRF 

SUMMARIES/CRITIQUES OF PAPERS: 

In this part, please include a short review of the papers you have read during the last week. The review should include three short paragraphs for each paper. The first paragraph should be a short summary of the paper; The second paragraph should include a short critique of the paper; and The last paragraph should include a discussion on how this paper is related to your research. 

Review: Transparent Shaping of Existing Software to Support Pervasive and Autonomic Computing 

This paper is related to the overall motivation for my research, the grid-enablement of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Code.  The transparent shaping of existing software is essentially the separation adaptation of an application designed to run in a particular environment automatically to another environment.  In addition, this is to be done with a separation of concerns between the functional code and the adaptive code. 

The paper talks about different approaches to doing this, more specifically a middleware and a language based approach. Essentially hooks are inserted into the application or middleware to intercept remote communications, forming an adaptive program.  This, also, allows for the program to be able to run as it was originally intended without any modification. 

I thought this to be the best approach to adapting applications especially in the grid environment where the gridification could be quite complicated.  This and related approaches allows the functional code to be agnostic of the environment that it is executing in which is crucial in that it is impossible for developers to develop applications for the grid environment with all of the different types of resources in mind.  It is best to leave the functional code to the application experts and the grid enablement to the high performance computing experts.  The approach discussed in this paper is the basis for our gridification of the WRF code and is combined with the GRIDSuperscalar tool to create a separation of concerns.  

My research is related the middleware aspect of this discussion.  In the case that one is adapting a program to run on the grid environment (on heterogeneous resources connected by the internet), one must adapt the program to deal with the extended latencies that the internet provides in comparison to local networks.  Furthermore, the transparent aspect of this approach is intended to make maintenance of the code much easier by not weaving in the adaptive code until runtime as discussed in detail in this paper.  

Reference:

S. Masoud Sadjadi, Philip K. McKinley, and Betty H.C. Cheng. Transparent shaping of existing software to support pervasive and autonomic computing. In Proceedings of the first Workshop on the Design and Evolution of Autonomic Application Software 2005 (DEAS'05), in conjunction with ICSE 2005, St. Louis, Missouri, May 2005.  

Review: An Architectural Approach to Autonomic Computing 

The title of this paper is pretty self explanatory.  This paper outlines an architectural approach to Autonomic Computing.  They define an autonomic element as an element that manages its own behavior in accordance with high level policies provided by an administrator.  Such behaviors are identified as self-managing, establishment of relationships with other autonomic elements, self-protecting, and self-healing.  This paper centers around two fundamental goals for autonomic computing. The first is that it must describe external interfaces for interactions that will allow the system to be autonomic in its relationships with other elements.  Secondly, it must be able to comprise a system out of various autonomic elements in order that the system as a whole is autonomic.  It, additionally, goes into detail about the different aspects contained in the vision for autonomic computing systems and describes some of the required and suggested behaviors for these systems.     

It particularly focuses on the autonomic system’s ability to interact with other autonomic systems. It first states that the element should attempt to do achieve all of its tasks locally.  If it needs to reach out to another element then it should be able to negotiate the relationship with this element at run-time and that this is not something that should have to be taken into much consideration at its set up time.  The different interaction components are discussed such as the registry, the sentinel, the aggregator, the negotiator, and the broker that make run time relationships between different autonomic elements possible. 

My research relates to this paper in that it seeks to automate the process of executing jobs across the grid.  Through application performance prediction, we are attempting to make the decision making process of where jobs execute solely a function of the system’s meta-scheduler.  Presently, in most scenarios, this process first asks the user some information about the application and some details about the application that he or she may not be entirely sure of. Or it may ask the user for an estimation of the runtime of the application, something that the user is not guaranteed to know about a remote (or even a local) resource.  Our research would allow the system to make the best decision for the optimal and efficient execution of jobs associated with an application run by accurately predicting how long it will take the application to run on a given set of resources.  

Reference:

Steve R. White, James E. Hanson, Ian Whalley, David M. Chess, and Jeffrey O. Kephart. An architectural approach to autonomic computing. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Autonomic Computing (ICAC'04), pages 2-9. IEEE Computer Society, 2004. 

Posted by Marlon Bright | 0 comment(s)

I am just about ready to nominate Barcelona as probably the all-around nicest places that I have visited.  Now, I am no world traveler by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, this summer is my first experience outside of the United States (which I haven’t seen all of yet) save for a trip to the Bahamas, which I was told does not count.  However, of the places that I have been, I would have to put it at the top of the list.  Now, when I say the “nicest all-around”, I mean the nicest all-around.  Sure there are places that do certain things better or are more interesting in certain areas, but I think Barcelona does a good job of putting the total package together.                          

For instance, Miami, Florida—my second home for the time being—is beautiful with great weather, palm trees, and fabulous beaches, but there is a bridge that separates South Beach from the rest of the city and there are parts of the actual city of Miami that leave a bit to be desired.  Plus, public transportation in Miami is highly inefficient and not much of a feasible option.  In addition, Miami is very flat, no mountains, and it lacks some significant historical and architectural monuments.  The story is the same with one of my favorite areas of the country in Tampa Bay, FL.  Atlanta, GA, the capital of the South and again one of my favorite cities, especially from a food standpoint.  Well, to start, there is no beach and the city is vastly spread out with no efficient means to get around it via public transportation.  The same holds true for my favorite Texas towns of Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston.  New York, NY, “the city so nice, they named it twice”; now here is a real tough one, especially in the summer months.  This is where my description for the “all-around nicest city” really comes in.  Of course, I don’t think that I will be going so very far out on the limb to say that there probably isn’t any other place like New York, NY in the world, and its center, Times Square, is often coined as the center of the Universe (I don’t know about all that).  New York, also, has very efficient public transportation which many times it is your best option to get somewhere, and there is always somewhere to go in New York because there is always something going on.  But we are missing a nice beach in the mix and some parts of the city aren’t the cleanest in the world.  And even on this stay, Paris, Madrid, and Rome are fine cities, but they lack a bit in comparison to Barcelona, maybe it be the beach or something else. 

So this brings me to back up my claim that Barcelona may be one of the “all-around nicest places” that I have visited.  Barcelona puts together the things that make cities nice in a good package.  First of all, is beauty and nice weather (at least in the summer months—the past week and a half have been magnificent).  I really enjoy how the city sits in sort of a valley bordered by majestic mountains on three sides and the beautiful Mediterranean Sea on the other. Furthermore, the city is big, but not too big.  Things are more concentrated, unlike the sprawling cities of America’s South and West.  If you are up for walking, you can just about walk (a good walk though, but scenic) to a number of the places you would want to go.  If you don’t want to walk, you can get there very easily on the metro or other public transportation that is very easy to navigate unlike some of the other cities I have visited.  Even more impressive is the fact that the great majority of the metro stations are very clean and air-conditioned, another distinction from some other cities.  And there are plenty of things to go and see.  The city is filled with many historical sites as well as modern marvels.  From Las Ramblas to the Sagrada Familia to La Parc Guell to the Castell de Montjuic and on and on, it takes a while to see everything that Barcelona has to offer (as I have ranted about in numerous posts).  The nightlife in Barcelona is fabulous, as well, and there is never a shortage of things to do or people out any time of night.  And then for those who like the fun in the sun…let me just say that Barcelona’s beaches are fabulous.  They are large and clean despite the fact that in the summer they are packed with people.  There is a nice boardwalk that runs along the beaches complete with restaurants, shops, and night clubs.  There are numerous well-kept public bathrooms along with boarded trails all the way out to the water’s edge for those who don’t want to get sandy.  After dark, you can still enjoy the beach.  There are numerous fine restaurants, especially in the Port Olympic area, as well as clubs.  And if you haven’t gotten enough of the sand, get this, the most popular beaches have lights on them so you can still hit the sand after dark! 

 

Maybe I am so impressed because I did not know much about Barcelona before coming and therefore did not have too high of expectations, but I definitely was surprised in a good way.  I really figured that having spent the majority of the past three years in Miami—with its energy and heavy Latin American feel—that Spain couldn’t be all of that.  I stand corrected. 

So now that I have praised the city, let me take one drawback shot at it and this really depends on your taste.  I guess that as a native of the state of Tennessee, I have a certain taste in food.  Ok, I will just say it, when comes to good food for me I am a country boy: pancakes, biscuits, apple pie, soul food, etc…  I will say that Barcelona lacks something in the food department for me.  First of all, the Spaniards are not big at all on American breakfast foods, namely cereal, pancakes, biscuits, oatmeal, etc.  They favor some coffee, a croissant, and a doughnut.  In fact in the main grocery store near our apartment, you can’t buy oatmeal, maple syrup, or anything related and the cereal selection is limited (no cheerios, fruit loops, apple jacks…mostly corn flakes, all-bran, and frosted flakes).  Then, from what I have seen, there is not a major variety in things to eat.  Many places have the same menus and serve the same sorts of things.  And the final big thing for me is that I like bread.  Don’t get me wrong the Spaniards love their bread too as there is a bakery on every corner, but this is a much harder bread than I am used to.  I make due, but I could definitely go for some good soft rolls from Ryan’s Steakhouse or some Cracker Barrel biscuits right about now. 

So, as you may have already assumed by now, I stayed in Barcelona this weekend to continue seeing things that I have not had the chance to see as of yet.  On Saturday, I grabbed some much needed extra sleep (since we have been putting in a good amount of hours on our research) and then headed to tour Camp Nou, the home of Futbol Club Barcelona.  “Camp Nou” means “New Stadium” (although built in the 1950s) and is enormous—seating about 115,000 people—and is complete with a rather extensive museum dedicated to the Club and its sports (as the club also fields handball, basketball, and a few others).  Boy the Spaniards are crazy about their futbol as evidenced by the large number of visitors to the stadium and the museum.  (I guess this is warranted since Spain’s national team plays in the finals of the EuroCup tonight against Germany.  And trust me, the whole country watches.  During the quarterfinal and semifinal games I could hear the cheers and fireworks of the whole neighborhood when Spain would score a goal.  And I mean the whole neighborhood!). I am not that big of a fan of soccer, I was just curious to see the large stadium, but there were people who really took this visit seriously!  I was somewhat impressed, but not awestruck as I have been to a few University of Tennessee Volunteer football games along with nearly 108,000 people in the stadium. 

After my visit to Camp Nou I headed down to the waterfront to take a walk along the beach.  As, I have already ranted and raved about the beaches in Barcelona, I won’t go back over it here, but it was nice.  From there I returned home for a spell, and then met up with my Spanish tutor for a special weekend edition of lessons.  From there I took a walk to the Font de Montjuic (the Fountain of Montjuic) which is a large fountain, set with a nice background of Montjuic Mountain and the National Art Museum of Catalunya set in the background, that provides a spectacular water display on Friday and Saturday nights.  There were streams of people who flocked to the fountain just to sit and take in the show.   I was pretty spent after my explorations for the day so I turned in after enjoying the show for a while.  On Sunday, I took a run up to Parc Guell which offers a magnificent view of the city and then I returned to the beach to take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. In the evening I came on home to get some work done and I, also, watched a bit of the EuroCup in which Spain beat Germany in what is the Super Bowl of European Soccer (in fact I was told that the game aired on national television in the US).  You were forced to watch a little bit of the game because you weren’t going to get any sleep as you could hear what seemed like the entire city cheer when Spain would score a goal or make some other good play.

Keywords: Barcelona, Day 47, PIRE

Posted by Marlon Bright | 0 comment(s)

June 25, 2008

Today is the holiday of Sant Joan here in Barcelona.  From what I gather there is not anything to special to celebrate about this day other than the fact that it is supposed to be the longest day of the year (in terms of daylight hours) and is sort of the official welcome of summer.  However, if you ask me, it was simply an excuse for the people of Barcelona to act a fool.  The holiday is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks the night before.  But, these are not the large, publicly displayed fireworks that I am used to in the United States.  Instead, it is everyone’s opportunity to set off their own fireworks wherever they feel like.  That’s right, there were seemingly no limitations as to who could set off fireworks and where they could set them off, turning Barcelona into what sounded like a warzone last night.                                                                                                                              

As we walked around the popular gathering points of the city all types of people were lighting up fireworks and tossing them in every direction on the sidewalks and in the plazas.  Subsequently, bystanders would have to dodge as the fireworks exploded loudly leaving me with a large headache today.  There was no regard to all of the fireworks safety emphasis that I hear about in the US.  Kids of all ages (4-80) ran and lit fire crackers while holding them and tossed them in various directions.  Additionally, there was obviously no concern for the sheer loudness of the firecrackers’ explosions as I thought that I was sure to lose an ear drum or two.  I have never experienced the sounds of war, but I am almost assured that they are quite similar. 

There were some good aspects to the night, however.  There were large numbers of people out taking in the festivities which provided for a very lively and enjoyable atmosphere (minus the noise).  Also, it gave us another good excuse to take in the beautiful city of Barcelona when it was truly alive and kicking.

Posted by Marlon Bright | 0 comment(s)

“While in Rome, do as the Romans do!” – Roma, Italia 

All roads lead to Rome.”  The former “capital of the world” if you will did not disappoint.  Trust me I had high expectations for it being that one of my favorite all time movies, Gladiator, was set in this ancient city.  I could almost hear the cheers of “Maximus” while walking around amongst what are now the some 2000 or more year old ruins of the ancient city.  2,000 years ago, the Roman empire had conquered all of Europe, some of Africa, and Asia Minor (the Middle East).  So, in terms of recorded history (as the Americas would not be discovered by Europeans for another 1,492 years) Rome was the majority of the world (excluding the empires of the Far East and southern Africa).   This is an interesting fact because nowadays everyone is talking about globalization due spurred on by the internet.  Well, 2,000 years ago Rome was globalization.  Furthermore, I also kept in mind while viewing the sites that most of the ruins dated back to the time of Jesus Christ.  In fact, there is a book in the Bible that was formed from a letter to the Roman Church.  Needless to say, with all of this in mind it was a great opportunity to visit the once heralded city. 

Our exploration of Rome began (but where else?) at the Colosseum.  The Colosseum was the premiere sporting venue of its time (and any other time for that matter until the stadiums of the recent century or so) as it was impeccably designed to seat nearly 70,000 and allowed for the viewing of some of the greatest spectacles in Ancient Rome.  The Colosseuom was built in just 8 years, between 72-80 A.D. (just 40 or so years after the death of Jesus Christ)!  Below the wooden arena floor was a maze of two stories of storage and holding spaces from which gladiators or animals would “magically” appear in the ring through a system of trap doors.  The Colosseum would play host to numerous gladiator contests (some with such beasts as elephants and lions), battle re-enactments, and even re-enactments of naval battles to celebrate the greatness of the Roman Empire.  Today, the Colosseum lays in ruins due to the stripping of its stone after the fall of the Roman Empire and a great earthquake that occurred in Italy in 1349.  Still, however, one can still imagine what it must have been like at the height of the Roman Empire. 

      

From the Colosseum we visited the neighboring Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill which were the centers of daily life in ancient Rome.  Again, it was unbelievable to take in what the ancient Romans were able to build more than 2,000 years ago.  It was quite the privilege to walk along in through the very same streets and structures as the ancient peoples of 2,000 years ago. 

    

After leaving the heart of the Roman Empire we headed for the other major attraction of Rome, the Vatican City.  The Vatican City is the “worldwide headquarters” of the Catholic Church and while I am not Catholic I still had a great appreciation for my visit there.  St. Peter’s Church (the main church of the Vatican City was enormous and very beautiful on the inside.  While we did not get to visit the Sistine Chapel, we did have the privilege of being present when the Pope addressed the Vatican Square on Sunday morning.

 

Of course, I could go on and on about Rome, but pictures tell the story best.  After all they are worth 1,000 words.

     

Naples/Pompei 

On Saturday we decided to take a day trip down the Italian peninsula to Naples, Italy and the nearby ruins of the ancient city of Pompei.  The train ride from Rome to Naples was a seemingly short one hour and forty-five minutes and it passed through the beautiful vineyard filled Italian countryside.  Once in Naples we changed trains and headed for the ancient city of Pompei.  The story behind the ruins of Pompei is that it was covered in 79 A.D. by the violent volcanic eruption of the nearby Mt. Vesuvias and wasn’t uncovered until the late 1700’s.  Archaeologists have done much in excavating this city as we found it relatively large and complex for its time.  Again, you can see the influence of the advancements of the Roman Empire as the city had paved streets, churches, large theaters, etc.  What was also interesting was that it seemed to have what looked like fast food places or houses that were close to the street and fronted with cooking areas.  I explored around for nearly 3 hours and still did not get to see everything.  There was much you could see and learn by going into one of the houses and perhaps into a backyard or garden.  This was definitely more than a small village.  Furthermore, Mt. Vesuvias loomed quite beautifully and majestically a short distance from the city.

  

After exploring Pompei we headed into the city of Naples, which I will be nice by saying that it left a little to be desired.  While Naples is located in a beautiful part of the country along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, it was not much more than an overcrowded urban city.  However, its coast did offer some beautiful views (although we could not see any sandy beaches in site…only boulders) these views were perhaps taken back by the littered streets and not so warm people.  There was one thing about Naples.  With all of the Italian flags lining the streets, you didn’t forget what country you were in.

The full albums can be viewed by following the below links:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2136355&l=cc1ca&id=18715815

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=34260588&l=6dd60&id=18715815

Keywords: Day 41, Naples, PIRE, Pompei, Rome

Posted by Marlon Bright | 0 comment(s)

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