Parallel Programming and Performance Evaluation with the URSA Tool Family1

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This paper contributes to the solution of several open problems with parallel programming tools and their integration with performance evaluation environments. First, we propose interactive compilation scenarios instead of the usual black-box-oriented use of compiler tools. In such scenarios, information gathered by the compiler and the compiler's reasoning are presented to the user in meaningful ways and on-demand. Second, a tight integration of compilation and performance analysis tools is advocated. M any of the existing, advanced instruments for gathering performance results are being used in the presented environment and their results are combined in integrated views with compiler information and data from other tools. Initial instruments that assist users in “data mining” this information are presented and the need for much stronger facilities is explained. The URSA Family provides two tools addressing these issues. URSA MINOR supports a group of users at a specific site, such as a research or development project. URSA MAJOR complements this tool by making available the gathered results to the user community at large via the World-wide Web. This paper presents objectives, functionality, experience, and next development steps of the URSA tool family. Two case studies are presented that illustrate the use of the tools for developing and studying parallel applications and for evaluating parallelizing compilers.

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