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ICPE 2018 Artifact - Measuring Network Latency Variation Impacts to High Performance Computing Application Performance

Underwood, Robert; Anderson, Jason; Apon, Amy

ICPE 2018 published paper artifact submission.  Abstract:

In this paper, we study the impacts of latency variation versus latency mean on application runtime, library performance, and packet delivery. Our contributions include the design and implementation of a network latency injector that is suitable for most QLogic and Mellanox InfiniBand cards. We fit statistical distributions of latency mean and variation to varying levels of network contention for a range of parallel application workloads. We use the statistical distributions to characterize the latency variation impacts to application degradation. The level of application degradation caused by variation in network latency depends on application characteristics, and can be significant. Observed degradation varies from no degradation for applications without communicating processes to 3.5 times slower for communication-intensive parallel applications. We support our results with statistical analysis of our experimental observations. For communication-intensive high performance computing applications, we show statistically significant evidence that changes in performance are more highly correlated with changes of variation in network latency than with changes of mean network latency alone. 

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