Abstract: Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) is an approach to solving PDEs that reduces the computational and memory requirements at the expense of increased communication. Although adopting asynchronous execution can overcome communication issues, manually restructuring an AMR application to realize asynchrony is extremely complicated and hinders readability and long-term maintainability. To balance performance against productivity, we design a user-friendly API and adopt phase asynchronous execution model where all subgrids at an AMR level can be computed asynchronously.
We apply the phase asynchrony to transform a real-world AMR application, CASTRO, which solves multicomponent compressible hydrodynamic equations for astrophysical flows. We evaluate the performance and programming effort required to use our carefully designed API and execution model for transitioning large legacy codes from synchronous to asynchronous execution up to 278,528 Intel-KNL cores. CASTRO is about 100K lines of code but less than 0.2% code changes are required to achieve significant performance improvement.
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