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Proceedings 15th Workshop on Parallel and Distributed Simulation (2001)
Lake Arrowhead, California
May 15, 2001 to May 18, 2001
ISSN: 1087-4097
ISBN: 0-7695-1104-X
pp: 56
Francesco Quaglia , Universit? di Roma "La Sapienza"
Andrea Santoro , Universit? di Roma "La Sapienza"
Great effort has been devoted to the design of optimized checkpointing strategies for optimistic parallel discrete event simulators. On the other hand there is less work in the direction to improve the execution mode of any single checkpoint operation. Specifically, checkpoint operations are typically charged to the CPU, thus leading to freezing of the simulation application while checkpointing is in progress, i.e. the execution mode of the checkpointing protocol is typically synchronous. In this paper we focus on improvements of the execution mode and present a software architecture, designed for myrinet based Network of Workstations (NOWs), to avoid application freezing during any checkpoint operation, thus moving the execution itself towards an asynchronous mode. This is done by charging checkpoint operations to a hardware component distinct from the CPU, namely a DMA engine. On the other hand, totally asynchronous checkpointing could suffer from data inconsistency whenever the content of a state buffer is accessed for further modifications while a checkpoint operation involving it is not yet completed. To avoid this, the architecture includes functionalities for resynchronization on demand. We have used these functionalities to implement an execution mode of the checkpointing protocol we refer to as semi-asynchronous. By the results of an experimental study we argue that the semi-asynchronous mode can be an effective solution to almost completely remove the delay associated with any checkpoint operation from the completion time of the simulation.

F. Quaglia and A. Santoro, "Semi-Asynchronous Checkpointing for Optimistic Simulation on a Myrinet Based NOW," Proceedings 15th Workshop on Parallel and Distributed Simulation(PADS), Lake Arrowhead, California, 2001, pp. 56.
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