Commit d527bab6 authored by Misbah Mubarak's avatar Misbah Mubarak
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Some of the documentation file names have conflicts with the build on OSX

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This document serves the following purposes:
* Document project resources (repository links, etc.)
* Introduce and present an overview of the key components making up the CODES
* Walk through the CODES example model, which shows the majority of CODES
features currently available.
= CODES/ROSS resources
CODES and ROSS share a mailing list. It is at:
* main site:
* repositories:
* "base" (this repository):
* codes-net (networking component of CODES):
* bug tracking:
* main site, repository, etc.:
* both the site and repository contain good documentation as well - refer to
it for an in-depth introduction and overview of ROSS proper
= Components of CODES
== Configuration
The configuration of LPs, LP parameterization, and miscellaneous simulation
parameters are specified by the CODES configuration system, which uses a
structured configuration file. The configuration format allows categories, and
optionally subgroups within the category, of key-value pairs for configuration.
The LPGROUPS category defines the LP configuration. The PARAMS category is
currently used for networking and ROSS-specific parameters. User-defined
categories can also be used.
The configuration system additionally allows LP specialization via the usage of
"annotations". This allows two otherwise identical LPs to have different
parameterizations. Annotations have a simple "@" syntax appended to the LP
fields, and are optional.
CODES currently exposes a small number of ROSS simulation engine options within
the configuration file. These are "PARAMS:message_size" and
"PARAMS:pe_mem_factor". The "message_size" parameter indicates the upper bound
of event sizes that ROSS is expected to handle, while the "pe_mem_factor"
parameter indicates the multiplier to the number of events allocated per ROSS
PE (an MPI rank). Both of these exist to support the static allocation scheme
ROSS uses for efficiency - both LP states and the maximum population of events
are allocated statically at the beginning of the simulation.
The API is located at codes/configuration.h, which provides various types of
access into the simulation configuration. Detailed configuration files can be
found at doc/example/example.conf and doc/example_heterogeneous/example.conf.
== LP mapping
The codes-mapping API maps user LPs to global LP IDs, providing numerous
options for modulating the namespace under which the mapping is conducted.
Mapping is performed on a per-group or per-LP-type basis, with numerous further
filtering options including on an LPs annotation. Finally, the mapping API
provides LP counts using the aforementioned filtering options.
The API can be found at codes/codes_mapping.h. doc/example/example.c shows a
simple example of the mapping functionality, while the test program
tests/mapping_test.c with configuration file tests/conf/mapping_test.conf
exhaustively demonstrate the mapping API.
== Workload generator(s)
codes-workload is an in-development abstraction layer for feeding I/O / network
workloads into a simulation. It supports multiple back-ends for generating I/O
and network events; data could come from a trace file, from Darshan, or from a
synthetic description.
The workload generator is currently a work in progress, and the API is subject
to change. We currently have standalone IO and network workload generators, the
former exposing a "POSIX-ish" open/close/read/write interface, and the latter
exposing an "MPI-ish" send/recv/barrier/collective interface. In the future, we
will be unifying these generators.
As an additional utility, we provide a simple debug program,
src/workload/codes-workload-dump, that processes the workload and prints to
standard out.
=== IO
We currently have initial support for extrapolating (lossy) Darshan logs
(, a simple synthetic
IO kernel language, and in-development ScalaTrace
( and IO Recorder
( traces.
==== Synthetic IO language
The synthetic IO language is a simple, interpreted set of IO and basic
arithmetic commands meant to simplify the specification and running of
application workloads. In the code it's currently called the "bgp" workload
generator but that is just a historical artifact - in the future it will be
The input for the workload generator consists of an IO kernel metadata file and
a number of IO kernel files. The former specifies a set of kernel files to run
and logical client IDs to participate in the workload, while the latter
describes the IO to be performed.
The format of the metadata file is a set of lines containing:
<group ID> <start ID> <end ID inclusive> <kernel file>
* <group ID> is the ID of this group (see restrictions)
* <start ID> and <end ID> form the range of logical client IDs that will
perform the given workload. Note that the end ID is inclusive, so a start,
end pair of 0, 3 will include IDs 0, 1, 2, and 3. An <end ID> of -1 indicates
to use the remaining number of clients as specified by the user.
* <kernel file> is the path to the IO kernel workload. It may either be an
absolute or relative path.
The IO kernel file contains a set of commands performed on a per-client
basis. Like the workload generator interface, files are represented by integer
IDs, and the standard set of "POSIX-ish" operations can be applied (e.g., open,
close, sync, write, read) and have a similar argument list (file ID, [length],
[offset] where applicable). pread/pwrite equivalents are given by
More detailed documentation on the language is ongoing, but for now a general
example can be seen at doc/workload, which shows a simple out-of-core data
shuffle. Braver souls may wish to visit the implementation at src/iokernellang
and src/workload/codes-bgp-io-wrkld.c.
The following restrictions currently apply to the IO language:
* all user-defined variables must be a single, lower-case letter (the symbol
table from the code we inherited is an array of 26 chars)
* the implementation of "groups" is currently broken. We have gotten around
this by hard-coding in the group size and client ID into the parser when a
kernel file is loaded (parsing currently occurs on a per-client basis).
Hence, getgroupid should be completely ignored and getgrouprank and
getgroupsize ignore the group ID parameter passed in.
=== Network
Documentation will be provided as this feature is further developed.
== LP-IO
LP-IO is a set of simple reverse-computation-aware routines for conditionally
outputting data on a per-LP basis. As the focus is on convenient, small-scale
data output, data written via LP-IO remains in memory until the end of the
simulation, or freed upon reverse computation. Large-scale,
reverse-computation-aware IO is a feature we're thinking about for future
The API can be found at codes/lp-io.h and is fairly self-explanatory.
== CODES configurator
The configurator is a set of scripts intended to make the auto-generation of
multiple CODES configuration files easier, for the purposes of performing
parameter sweeps of simulations. The configuration file defining the parameters
in the parameter sweep is defined by a python source file with well-defined
field names, to maximize flexibility and enable some essential features for
flexible parameter sweeps (disabling certain combinations of parameters,
deriving parameters from other parameters in the sweep). The actual replacement
is driven by token replacement defined by the values in the configuration file.
An exhaustive example can be found at scripts/example. The scripts themselves
are,, and, each with detailed usage info. These scripts have
heavily-overlapping functionality, so in the future these may be merged.
== Miscellaneous utilities
=== Workload display utility
For debugging and experimentation purposes, a plain-text "dump" of an IO
workload can be seen using the utility src/workload/codes-workload-dump
(it gets installed into $bindir).
=== LP template (src/util/templates)
As writing ROSS/CODES models currently entail a not-insignificant amount of
boilerplate for defining LPs and hooking them into ROSS, we have a template
model for use at src/util/templates/lp_template.* .
=== Generic message header (see best practices)
We recommend the use of codes/lp-msg.h to standardize LP event headers, making it
easier to identify messages.
= Utility models
== Local storage model
The local storage model (LSM) is fairly simple in design but is sufficient for
many simulations with reasonable I/O access patterns. It is an
overhead/latency/bandwidth model that tracks file and offset accesses to
determine whether to apply seeking penalties to the performance of the access.
It uses a simple histogram-based approach to parameterization:
overhead/latency/bandwidth numbers are given relative to different access
sizes. To gather such parameters, well-known I/O benchmarks such as fio
(;a=summary) can be used.
The LP name used in configuration is "lsm" and the configuration is expected to
be in a similarly named standalone group, an example of which is shown below:
# in bytes
request_sizes = ( "4096","8192","16384","32768","65536","131072","262144","524288","1048576","2097152","4194304" );
# in MiB/s (2^20 bytes / s)
write_rates = ( "1511.7","1511.7","1511.7","1511.7","1511.7","1511.7","1511.7","1511.7","1511.7","1511.7","1511.7" );
read_rates = ( "1542.1","1542.1","1542.1","1542.1","1542.1","1542.1","1542.1","1542.1","1542.1","1542.1","1542.1" );
# in microseconds
write_seeks = ( "499.5","509.0","514.7","525.9","546.4","588.3","663.1","621.8","539.1","3179.5","6108.8" );
read_seeks = ( "3475.6","3470.0","3486.2","3531.2","3608.6","3741.0","3988.9","4530.2","5644.2","7922.0","11700.3" );
write_overheads = ( "29.67","29.67","29.67","29.67","29.67","29.67","29.67","29.67","29.67","29.67","29.67" );
read_overheads = ( "23.67","23.67","23.67","23.67","23.67","23.67","23.67","23.67","23.67","23.67","23.67" );
The API can be found at codes/local-storage-model.h and example usage can be
seen in tests/local-storage-model-test.c and tests/conf/lsm-test.conf.
== Resource model
The resource model presents a simple integer counter representing some finite
resource (e.g., bytes of memory available). LPs request some number of units of
the resource, receiving a success/failure completion message via a callback
mechanism. Optional "blocking" can be used to defer the completion message
until the request is successfully completed.
The configuration LP name is "resource" and the parameters are given in a
similarly-named group. An example is shown below:
The API for the underlying resource data structure can be found in
codes/resource.h. The user-facing API for communicating with the LP can be
found in codes/resource-lp.h.
= CODES example model
An example model representing most of the functionality present in CODES is
available in doc/example. In this scenario, we have a certain number of storage
servers, identified through indices 0, ... , n-1 where each server has a
network interface card (NIC) associated with it. The servers exchange messages
with their neighboring server via their NIC card (i.e., server i pings server
i+1, rolling over the index if necessary). When the neighboring server receives
the message, it sends an acknowledgement message to the sending server in
response. Upon receiving the acknowledgement, the sending server issues another
message. This process continues until some number of messages have been sent.
For simplicity, it is assumed that each server has a direct link to its
neighbor, and no network congestion occurs due to concurrent messages being
The model is relatively simple to simulate through the usage of ROSS. There are
two distinct LP types in the simulation: the server and the NIC. Refer to
example.c for data structure definitions. The server LPs are in charge of
issuing/acknowledging the messages, while the NIC LPs (implemented via CODES's
model-net component, available in the codes-net repository) transmit the data
and inform their corresponding servers upon completion. This LP decomposition
strategy is generally preferred for ROSS-based simulations: have
single-purpose, simple LPs representing logical system components.
In this program, CODES is used in the following four ways: to provide
configuration utilities for the program (example.conf), to logically separate
and provide lookup functionality for multiple LP types, to automate LP
placement on KPs/PEs, and to simplify/modularize the underlying network
structure. The configuration API is used for the first use-case, the
mapping API is used for the second and third use-cases, and the
model-net API is used for the fourth use-case. The following sections
discuss these while covering necessary ROSS-specific information.
== Configuration and mapping
In the example program, there are one server LP and one
"modelnet_simplenet" LP type in a group and this combination is
repeated 16 times (repetitions="16") for a total of 32 LPs. The section
"server_pings" is server-LP-specific and defines the number of rounds of
communication and the payload for each round.
We use the simple-net LP provided by model-net as the underlying network
model. The simple-net parameters are specified by the user in the PARAMS
section of the example.conf config file.
== Server state and event handlers
The server LP state maintains a count of the number of remote messages it has
sent and received as well as the number of local completion messages.
For the server event message, we have four message types: KICKOFF, REQ, ACK and
LOCAL. With a KICKOFF event, each LP sends a message to itself to begin the
simulation proper. To avoid event ties, we add a small amount of random noise
using codes_local_latency. The REQ message is sent by a server to its
neighboring server and when received, neighboring server sends back a message
of type ACK. We've shown a hard-coded direct communication method which
directly computes the LP ID, and a codes-mapping API-based method.
== Server reverse computation
ROSS has the capability for optimistic parallel simulation, but instead of
saving the state of each LP, they instead require users to perform reverse
computation. That is, while the event messages are themselves preserved (until
the Global Virtual Time (GVT) algorithm renders the messages unneeded), the LP
state is not preserved. Hence, it is up to the simulation developer to provide
functionality to reverse the LP state, given the event to be reversed. ROSS
makes this simpler in that events will always be rolled back in exactly the
order they were applied. Note that ROSS also has both serial and parallel
conservative modes, so reverse computation may not be necessary if the
simulation is not compute- or memory-intensive.
For our example program, recall the "forward" event handlers. They perform the
* Kickoff: send a message to the peer server, and increment sender LP's
count of sent messages.
* Request (received from peer server): increment receiver count of
received messages, and send an acknowledgement to the sender.
* Acknowledgement (received from message receiver): send the next
message to the receiver and increment messages sent count. Set a flag
indicating whether a message has been sent.
* Local model-net callback: increment the local model-net
received messages count.
In terms of LP state, the four operations are simply modifying counts. Hence,
the "reverse" event handlers need to merely roll back those changes:
* Kickoff: decrement sender LP's count of sent messages.
* Request (received from peer server): decrement receiver count of
received messages.
* Acknowledgement (received from message receiver): decrement messages
sent count if flag indicating a message has been sent has not been
* Local model-net callback: decrement the local model-net
received messages count.
For more complex LP states (such as maintaining queues), reverse event
processing becomes similarly more complex. Refer to the best practices document
for strategies of coping with the increase in complexity.
NOTE: see bottom of this file for suggested configurations on particular ANL
0 - Checkout, build, and install the trunk version of ROSS. At the time of
release (0.3.0), ROSS's latest commit hash was c04babe, so this revision is
"safe" in the unlikely case incompatible changes come along in the future.
git clone
# optional: git checkout c04babe
mkdir build
cd build
# note: other options for ARCH include i386 (for 32 bit machines),
# bgp, and bgq (for Blue Gene systems)
ARCH=x86_64 CC=mpicc CXX=mpicxx cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=../install ../
make -j 3
make install
<the result should be that the latest version of ROSS is installed in the
ROSS/install/ directory>
1 - If you are building codes-base directly from the repository, run
2 - Configure codes-base. This can be done in the source directory or in a
dedicated build directory if you prefer out-of-tree builds. The CC
environment variable must refer to an MPI compiler.
mkdir build
cd build
../configure --with-ross=/path/to/ross/install --prefix=/path/to/codes-base/install CC=mpicc
To enable network tracing with dumpi, use optional --with-dumpi = /path/to/dumpi/install with configure.
3 - Build and install codes-base
make && make install
4 - (optional) run test programs
make tests && make check
5 - codes-base uses flex and bison (or lex and yacc) to generate several
parsers. These tools auto-generate C source files. To get around versioning
issues, we've distributed the auto-generated sources directly. To remove
all of the autogenerated files for these parsers, execute
make maintainer-clean-local
Machine-specific configurations:
- Fusion (ANL): add the following keys to your ~/.soft file and run "resoft"
prior to following the steps described in this file:
Notes on using the clang static analyzer
- follow steps 0-2 as shown above, with one exception:
- add the following argument to configure:
- edit Makefile, and delete the "CC = mpicc" (or similar) line
- run "scan-build --use-cc=mpicc make"
Initial "official" release. Against previous repository revisions, this release
includes more complete documentation.
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