Automatic Parallelization using Pipelining for Equation-Based Simulation Languages

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Abstract: During the most recent decades modern equation-based object-oriented modeling and simulation languages, such as Modelica, have become available. This has made it easier to build complex and more detailed models for use in simulation. To be able to simulate such large and complex systems it is sometimes not enough to rely on the ability of a compiler to optimize the simulation code and reduce the size of the underlying set of equations to speed up the simulation on a single processor. Instead we must look for ways to utilize the increasing number of processing units available in modern computers. However to gain any increased performance from a parallel computer the simulation program must be expressed in a way that exposes the potential parallelism to the computer. Doing this manually is not a simple task and most modelers are not experts in parallel computing. Therefore it is very appealing to let the compiler parallelize the simulation code automatically. This thesis investigates techniques of using automatic translation of models in typical equation based languages, such as Modelica, into parallel simulation code that enable high utilization of available processors in a parallel computer. The two main ideas investigated here are the following: first, to apply parallelization simultaneously to both the system equations and the numerical solver, and secondly. to use software pipelining to further reduce the time processors are kept waiting for the results of other processors. Prototype implementations of the investigated techniques have been developed as a part of the OpenModelica open source compiler for Modelica. The prototype has been used to evaluate the parallelization techniques by measuring the execution time of test models on a few parallel archtectures and to compare the results to sequential code as well as to the results achieved in earlier work. A measured speedup of 6.1 on eight processors on a shared memory machine has been reached. It still remains to evaluate the methods for a wider range of test models and parallel architectures.

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