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Paper: Getting More From Your Multicore: Exploiting OpenMP for Astronomy
Volume: 394, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems (ADASS) XVII
Page: 730
Authors: Noble, M.S.
Abstract: Motivated by the emergence of multicore architectures, and the reality that parallelism is rarely used for analysis in observational astronomy, we demonstrate how general users may employ tightly-coupled multiprocessors in scriptable research calculations while requiring no special knowledge of parallel programming. Our method rests on the observation that much of the appeal of high-level vectorized languages like IDL or MatLab stems from relatively simple internal loops over regular array structures, and that these loops are highly amenable to automatic parallelization with OpenMP. We discuss how ISIS, an open-source astrophysical analysis system embedding the S-Lang numerical language, was easily adapted to exploit this pattern. Drawing from a common astrophysical problem, model fitting, we present beneficial speedups for several machine and compiler configurations. These results complement our previous efforts with PVM, and together lead us to believe that ISIS is the only general purpose spectroscopy system in which such a range of parallelism – from single processors on multiple machines to multiple processors on single machines – has been demonstrated.
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