Heterogeneous Compute Clusters and Massive Environmental Simulations Based on the EPIC Model

Khabarov, N. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5372-4668, Smirnov, A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1765-0782, Balkovič, J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2955-4931, Skalský, R. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0983-6897, Folberth, C. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6738-5238, Van Der Velde, M., & Obersteiner, M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6981-2769 (2020). Heterogeneous Compute Clusters and Massive Environmental Simulations Based on the EPIC Model. Modelling 1 (2) 215-224.

[thumbnail of modelling-01-00013-v2.pdf]
modelling-01-00013-v2.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (266kB) | Preview
Project: Effects of phosphorus limitations on Life, Earth system and Society (IMBALANCE-P, FP7 610028)


In recent years, the crop growth modeling community invested immense effort into high resolution global simulations estimating inter alia the impacts of projected climate change. The demand for computing resources in this context is high and expressed in processor core-years per one global simulation, implying several crops, management systems, and a several decades time span for a single climatic scenario. The anticipated need to model a richer set of alternative management options and crop varieties would increase the processing capacity requirements even more, raising the looming issue of computational efficiency. While several publications report on the successful application of the original field-scale crop growth model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) for running on modern supercomputers, the related performance improvement issues and, especially, associated trade-offs have only received, so far, limited coverage. This paper provides a comprehensive view on the principles of the EPIC setup for parallel computations and, for the first time, on those specific to heterogeneous compute clusters that are comprised of desktop computers utilizing their idle time to carry out massive computations. The suggested modification of the core EPIC model allows for a dramatic performance increase (order of magnitude) on a compute cluster that is powered by the open-source high-throughput computing software framework HTCondor.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: EPIC model; high performance computing (HPC); high-throughput computing (HTC); HTCondor; massive spatio-temporal modeling; legacy source code; environmental simulation; heterogeneous compute clusters; crop model; agriculture; climate change
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2020 10:41
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:34
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16922

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item