Traveler: Navigating Task Parallel Traces for Performance Analysis

by   Sayef Azad Sakin, et al.

Understanding the behavior of software in execution is a key step in identifying and fixing performance issues. This is especially important in high performance computing contexts where even minor performance tweaks can translate into large savings in terms of computational resource use. To aid performance analysis, developers may collect an execution trace - a chronological log of program activity during execution. As traces represent the full history, developers can discover a wide array of possibly previously unknown performance issues, making them an important artifact for exploratory performance analysis. However, interactive trace visualization is difficult due to issues of data size and complexity of meaning. Traces represent nanosecond-level events across many parallel processes, meaning the collected data is often large and difficult to explore. The rise of asynchronous task parallel programming paradigms complicates the relation between events and their probable cause. To address these challenges, we conduct a continuing design study in collaboration with high performance computing researchers. We develop diverse and hierarchical ways to navigate and represent execution trace data in support of their trace analysis tasks. Through an iterative design process, we developed Traveler, an integrated visualization platform for task parallel traces. Traveler provides multiple linked interfaces to help navigate trace data from multiple contexts. We evaluate the utility of Traveler through feedback from users and a case study, finding that integrating multiple modes of navigation in our design supported performance analysis tasks and led to the discovery of previously unknown behavior in a distributed array library.


page 1

page 5

page 7

page 8

page 12


Pipit: Enabling programmatic analysis of parallel execution traces

Performance analysis is an important part of the oft-repeated, iterative...

Designing an Interactive, Notebook-Embedded, Tree Visualization to Support Exploratory Performance Analysis

Interactive visualization via direct manipulation has inherent design tr...

Scalable Comparative Visualization of Ensembles of Call Graphs

Optimizing the performance of large-scale parallel codes is critical for...

TraceTracker: Hardware/Software Co-Evaluation for Large-Scale I/O Workload Reconstruction

Block traces are widely used for system studies, model verifications, an...

Daisen: A Framework for Visualizing Detailed GPU Execution

Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) have been widely used to accelerate art...

Understanding Differences among Executions with Variational Traces

One of the main challenges of debugging is to understand why the program...

Visualizing a Moving Target: A Design Study on Task Parallel Programs in the Presence of Evolving Data and Concerns

Common pitfalls in visualization projects include lack of data availabil...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset