Parallelizing a very high resolution climate model using clusters of workstations with PVM and performance and load balance analyses

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Wang, Hao
Prabhu, Gurpur
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Takle, Eugene
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
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Aerospace Engineering

The Department of Aerospace Engineering seeks to instruct the design, analysis, testing, and operation of vehicles which operate in air, water, or space, including studies of aerodynamics, structure mechanics, propulsion, and the like.

The Department of Aerospace Engineering was organized as the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1942. Its name was changed to the Department of Aerospace Engineering in 1961. In 1990, the department absorbed the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics and became the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. In 2003 the name was changed back to the Department of Aerospace Engineering.

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  • Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (1990-2003)

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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Computer Science

Computer Science—the theory, representation, processing, communication and use of information—is fundamentally transforming every aspect of human endeavor. The Department of Computer Science at Iowa State University advances computational and information sciences through; 1. educational and research programs within and beyond the university; 2. active engagement to help define national and international research, and 3. educational agendas, and sustained commitment to graduating leaders for academia, industry and government.

The Computer Science Department was officially established in 1969, with Robert Stewart serving as the founding Department Chair. Faculty were composed of joint appointments with Mathematics, Statistics, and Electrical Engineering. In 1969, the building which now houses the Computer Science department, then simply called the Computer Science building, was completed. Later it was named Atanasoff Hall. Throughout the 1980s to present, the department expanded and developed its teaching and research agendas to cover many areas of computing.

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The Department of Agronomy seeks to teach the study of the farm-field, its crops, and its science and management. It originally consisted of three sub-departments to do this: Soils, Farm-Crops, and Agricultural Engineering (which became its own department in 1907). Today, the department teaches crop sciences and breeding, soil sciences, meteorology, agroecology, and biotechnology.

The Department of Agronomy was formed in 1902. From 1917 to 1935 it was known as the Department of Farm Crops and Soils.

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  • Department of Farm Crops and Soils (1917–1935)

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Geological and Atmospheric Sciences

The Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences offers majors in three areas: Geology (traditional, environmental, or hydrogeology, for work as a surveyor or in mineral exploration), Meteorology (studies in global atmosphere, weather technology, and modeling for work as a meteorologist), and Earth Sciences (interdisciplinary mixture of geology, meteorology, and other natural sciences, with option of teacher-licensure).

The Department of Geology and Mining was founded in 1898. In 1902 its name changed to the Department of Geology. In 1965 its name changed to the Department of Earth Science. In 1977 its name changed to the Department of Earth Sciences. In 1989 its name changed to the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences.

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  • Department of Geology and Mining (1898-1902)
  • Department of Geology (1902-1965)
  • Department of Earth Science (1965-1977)
  • Department of Earth Sciences (1977-1989)

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Environment and climate change problems are very complicated, and their research and operational prediction heavily depend on powerful computer techniques. Even with today most powerful supercomputer, the climate and environmental models are still limited to very coarse resolution. In this paper, we report our recent effort in parallelizing our very-high-resolution numerical model systems. First, the mathematical equations, algorithms, and numerical schemes are designed and analyzed; then domain decomposition, data decomposition, and functional decomposition schemes are tested in our implementations on clusters of HP workstations and/or DEC Alpha stations with PVM; finally, the performance and load balance are analyzed. Shelterbelts cause significantly inhomogeneous computation distribution on the domain, therefore, common and easiest domain decomposition does not work well on our problem. Special care must be taken to treat computations around shelterbelts. With carefull design of algorithms, we found that cheap and still powerful workstations or PCs make it possible to run these models in clusters of workstations or PCs.


This proceeding was published as Wang, H., G. Prabhu, and E. S. Takle, 1998: "Parallelizing a very high resolution climate model using clusters of workstations with PVM and performance and load balance analyses." Proceedings of the International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Processing Techniques and Applications, CSREA Press. pp. 1762-1765. Posted with permission.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1998