A new adaptive data transfer library for model coupling
- 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science (CESS), Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
- 2Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
- 3Joint Center for Global Change Studies (JCGCS), Beijing, China
- 4State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modelling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Abstract. Data transfer means transferring data fields from a sender to a receiver. It is a fundamental and frequently used operation of a coupler. Most versions of state-of-the-art couplers currently use an implementation based on the point-to-point (P2P) communication of the message passing interface (MPI) (referred to as “P2P implementation” hereafter). In this paper, we reveal the drawbacks of the P2P implementation when the parallel decompositions of the sender and the receiver are different, including low communication bandwidth due to small message size, variable and high number of MPI messages, as well as network contention. To overcome these drawbacks, we propose a butterfly implementation for data transfer. Although the butterfly implementation outperforms the P2P implementation in many cases, it degrades the performance when the sender and the receiver have similar parallel decompositions or when the number of processes used for running models is small. To ensure data transfer with optimal performance, we design and implement an adaptive data transfer library that combines the advantages of both butterfly implementation and P2P implementation. As the adaptive data transfer library automatically uses the best implementation for data transfer, it outperforms the P2P implementation in many cases while it does not decrease the performance in any cases. Now, the adaptive data transfer library is open to the public and has been imported into the C-Coupler1 coupler for performance improvement of data transfer. We believe that other couplers can also benefit from this.