Updating an Introductory Performance Course with PDC Topics

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2015 IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium Workshop

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Electronic digital computers


We report on our development of a new course: Introduction to Performance Measurement, Modeling and Analysis (IPMMA). The first offering was in Fall 2014, with a second offering in Winter 2015 in finals week at this writing. The course focuses on the fundamentals of measuring, analyzing, and modeling computer performance. As we cover the basics we will move through a set of case studies, allowing us to apply the techniques to increasingly complex problems. Case studies used in Fall 2014 include: multithreaded code; web servers; MPI code; virtualized servers; and Map/Reduce - Hadoop. In Winter 2015 we added a case study for single server queue simulation. These case studies include hands-on programming exercises both during class time and as take-home exercises. We use a variety of performance tools through the course to learn the state of the art for performance techniques and practices. We have successfully included a number of PDC topics into this course, with relatively small background needed for the students to succeed in hands-on exercises. However, we have found a total lack of textbook support for the inclusion of PDC topics into an introductory performance course.

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Unaffiliated researchers can access the work here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/IPDPSW.2015.141



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