Example: HPCΒΆ

We describe how to use Popper in high performance computing (HPC) scenarios. A typical experiment in HPC assumes many things from the environment: an NFS mount point available in compute nodes, a batch scheduler, applications installed/compiled directly on the host (i.e. without any type of virtualization), among others. In this case, Popper is followed to record the scripts used to compile, install and run the experiment, as well as analyze its results.


We assume that the $HOME/mypaper folder is available in the users’ laptop as well as on the nodes of the machine where the experiment runs.

We have several experiments available via the Popper-CLI tool (obtained from the templates repository). Assuming the repo has been initialized (see here this), we can show the list of available experiments by doing:

$ cd $HOME/mypaper
$ popper experiment list

In this example we’ll make use of the mpip experiment:

$ popper experiment add mpip

$ ls experiments/mpip
total 16K
-rwxr-x--- 1 ivo ivo  157 Oct  5 10:35 analyze.sh
-rwxr-x--- 1 ivo ivo  253 Oct  5 10:35 install.sh
drwxrwx--- 2 ivo ivo 4.0K Oct  5 10:35 results/
-rwxr-x--- 1 ivo ivo  325 Oct  5 10:35 run.sh

The experiment corresponds to an execution of the LULESH MPI proxy application compiled against mpiP. The experiment consists of three scripts: install.sh installs the dependencies via spack; run.sh executes LULESH; and analyze.sh post-process the results that are gathered by mpiP.

Since spack installs dependencies from source, the install.sh script should be executed in a node with the same architecture as the one of the compute nodes where LULESH will run (e.g. in a “head” node of the machine). The run.sh script is passed to the batch scheduler, which is SLURM in this case. Once the experiment finishes, mpiP places a text file in the results/ folder (a text file file ending in .mpiP) that contains MPI runtime metrics. The analyze.sh script launches a Jupyter notebook server (using Docker) that analyzes the output of mpiP and generates a graph summarizing MPI statistics. To see an example of how the notebook looks see here.

We are currently working with researchers in this domain to include more experiments to our templates repository. If you are interested in contributing one but are not certain on how to start, please feel free to email us, chat or open an issue.