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Fault Tolerance for HPC: Theory and Practice at SC'16

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Published on Sep 30, 2016

Resilience becomes a critical issue for large-scale platforms. This tutorial provides a comprehensive survey of fault-tolerant techniques for high-performance computing, with a fair balance between practice and theory. It is organized along four main topics:

(i) An overview of failure types (software/hardware, transient/fail-stop), and typical probability distributions (Exponential, Weibull, Log-Normal);

(ii) General-purpose techniques, which include several checkpoint and rollback recovery protocols, replication, prediction and silent error detection;

(iii) Application-specific techniques, such as ABFT for grid-based algorithms or fixed-point convergence for iterative applications, user-level checkpointing in memory; and

(iv) Practical deployment of fault tolerant techniques with User Level Fault Mitigation (a proposed MPI standard extension). Relevant examples based on ubiquitous computational solver routines will be protected with a mix of checkpoint-restart and advanced recovery techniques in a hands-on session.

The tutorial is open to all SC'16 attendees who are interested in the current status and expected promise of fault-tolerant approaches for scientific applications. There are no audience prerequisites: background will be provided for all protocols and probabilistic models. However, basic knowledge of MPI will be helpful for the hands-on session.

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