Applications in high performance computing face several challenges to make efficient use of modern parallel computers having a much higher degree of parallelism and heterogeneity as well as being harder to program due the use of new processor architectures, deeper memory hierarchies, more heterogeneous communication networks, and the increasing use of accelerator devices. Research and development on adaptive runtime systems is one strategic approach to tackle these challenges by providing applications a good performance in a dynamic way and improving the software design at the same time pursuant to Dijkstra’s well-known principle of separation of concerns.
The research activities at PDC are realized in several national and international projects, mainly the Swedish e-Science Research Centre (SeRC), an FP7 EU project CRESTA, but also for example in PRACE and by direct cooperation with PDC users in the development of their simulation applications. This guarantees an application-oriented research inspired by practical problems as well as the verification of the results in practical applications and can be also described with the more recent term co-design.
We follow an approach that integrates task and data parallel programming methods with the runtime system developed at PDC. The execution of the program is improved by a real-time monitoring providing feedback to the application that correlates the currently executed software objects with the status and usage efficiency of the hardware. Furthermore, we aim to improve the effect of the monitoring with more sophisticated hints to the application derived from historical execution traces that are analysed with statistical and artificial intelligence methods.
 Michael Schliephake, Xavier Aguilar, Erwin Laure: Design and Implementation of a Runtime System for Parallel Numerical Simulations on Large-Scale Clusters. Procedia Computer Science, Volume 4, Proceedings of the International Conference on Computational Science, ICCS 2011, 2011, Pages 2105-2114, ISSN 1877-0509, DOI: 10.1016/j.procs.2011.04.230. (PDF)