Best Practices for Using Proxy Applications as Benchmarks

Series: HPC Best Practices Webinars

Proxy applications have many uses in software development and hardware/software co-design. Because most proxies are easy to build, run, and understand, they are especially appealing for use in benchmark suites and studies. This webinar will examine the role of proxy apps as benchmarks and explain why run rules and a figure of merit are essential for a proxy application to function as an effective benchmark. We will show how to evaluate the fidelity of benchmarks as a model for actual workloads and provide tips on creating problem specifications and other run rules. We will discuss what DOE facilities are looking for when they assemble benchmark suites for use in procurements. Finally, we will explain how system vendors use our benchmark suites and what practices they view as most (and least) effective.


Presenter Bios

David Richards is a computational physicist in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Drawing upon extensive experience designing scientific simulation codes, David leads the Advanced Architecture and Portability Specialists (AAPS) team and is the PI for the ECP Proxy App Project. He is a winner of both the IEEE/ACM Gordon Bell Award (2007) and the R&D 100 award (2013). David holds a B.S. in Physics from Harvey Mudd College and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Joe Glenski is an experienced technical expert on High Performance Computing architectures and performance, with broad system knowledge and deep technical understanding of the ways HPC systems provide unmatched performance to advance science. He has led technical work for HPE, Cray, and SGI for major procurements, critical system acceptances, and new product bring-up. Joe is currently the CORAL-2 Performance Lead for HPE, guiding the performance and benchmarking activities for the “Frontier” system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the “El Capitan” system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.