EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 247, 2021PHYSOR2020 – International Conference on Physics of Reactors: Transition to a Scalable Nuclear Future
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Monte Carlo Transport|
|Published online||22 February 2021|
NUMA-AWARE DATA MANAGEMENT FOR NEUTRON CROSS SECTION DATA IN CONTINUOUS ENERGY MONTE CARLO NEUTRON TRANSPORT SIMULATION
Argonne National Laboratory 9700 S. Cass Avenue, Lemont, IL, USA
Published online: 22 February 2021
The calculation of macroscopic neutron cross-sections is a fundamental part of the continuous-energy Monte Carlo (MC) neutron transport algorithm. MC simulations of full nuclear reactor cores are computationally expensive, making high-accuracy simulations impractical for most routine reactor analysis tasks because of their long time to solution. Thus, preparation of MC simulation algorithms for next generation supercomputers is extremely important as improvements in computational performance and efficiency will directly translate into improvements in achievable simulation accuracy. Due to the stochastic nature of the MC algorithm, cross-section data tables are accessed in a highly randomized manner, resulting in frequent cache misses and latency-bound memory accesses. Furthermore, contemporary and next generation non-uniform memory access (NUMA) computer architectures, featuring very high latencies and less cache space per core, will exacerbate this behaviour. The absence of a topology-aware allocation strategy in existing high-performance computing (HPC) programming models is a major source of performance problems in NUMA systems. Thus, to improve performance of the MC simulation algorithm, we propose a topology-aware data allocation strategies that allow full control over the location of data structures within a memory hierarchy. A new memory management library, known as AML, has recently been created to facilitate this mapping. To evaluate the usefulness of AML in the context of MC reactor simulations, we have converted two existing MC transport cross-section lookup “proxy-applications” (XSBench and RSBench) to utilize the AML allocation library. In this study, we use these proxy-applications to test several continuous-energy cross-section data lookup strategies (the nuclide grid, unionized grid, logarithmic hash grid, and multipole methods) with a number of AML allocation schemes on a variety of node architectures. We find that the AML library speeds up cross-section lookup performance up to 2x on current generation hardware (e.g., a dual-socket Skylake-based NUMA system) as compared with naive allocation. These exciting results also show a path forward for efficient performance on next-generation exascale supercomputer designs that feature even more complex NUMA memory hierarchies.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
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