Performance modeling and tuning of an unstructured mesh CFD application

William D. Gropp*, Dinesh K. Kaushik, David E. Keyes, Barry F. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This paper describes performance tuning experiences with a three-dimensional unstructured grid Euler flow code from NASA, which we have reimplemented in the PETSc framework and ported to several large-scale machines, including the ASCI Red and Blue Pacific machines, the SGI Origin, the Cray T3E, and Beowulf clusters. The code achieves a respectable level of performance for sparse problems, typical of scientific and engineering codes based on partial differential equations, and scales well up to thousands of processors. Since the gap between CPU speed and memory access rate is widening, the code is analyzed from a memory-centric perspective (in contrast to traditional flop-orientation) to understand its sequential and parallel performance. Performance tuning is approached on three fronts: data layouts to enhance locality of reference, algorithmic parameters, and parallel programming model. This effort was guided partly by some simple performance models developed for the sparse matrix-vector product operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSC 2000 - Proceedings of the 2000 ACM/IEEE Conference on Supercomputing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)0780398025
StatePublished - 2000
Event2000 ACM/IEEE Conference on Supercomputing, SC 2000 - Dallas, United States
Duration: Nov 4 2000Nov 10 2000

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Supercomputing


Conference2000 ACM/IEEE Conference on Supercomputing, SC 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2000 IEEE.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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