Performance Modeling and Analysis of a Massively Parallel DIRECT— Part 1
Watson, Layne T.
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Modeling and analysis techniques are used to investigate the performance of a massively parallel version of DIRECT, a global search algorithm widely used in multidisciplinary design optimization applications. Several highdimensional benchmark functions and real world problems are used to test the design effectiveness under various problem structures. Theoretical and experimental results are compared for two parallel clusters with different system scale and network connectivity. The present work aims at studying the performance sensitivity to important parameters for problem configurations, parallel schemes, and system settings. The performance metrics include the memory usage, load balancing, parallel efficiency, and scalability. An analytical bounding model is constructed to measure the load balancing performance under different schemes. Additionally, linear regression models are used to characterize two major overhead sources—interprocessor communication and processor idleness, and also applied to the isoefficiency functions in scalability analysis. For a variety of highdimensional problems and large scale systems, the massively parallel design has achieved reasonable performance. The results of the performance study provide guidance for efficient problem and scheme configuration. More importantly, the generalized design considerations and analysis techniques are beneficial for transforming many global search algorithms to become effective large scale parallel optimization tools.