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Parallel Performance Evaluation of Helios



This paper describes parallel performance considerations of Helios, a software package used for high-fidelity aero/structural dynamics analysis of rotary-wing vehicles. Helios consists of a suite of software modules performing high-fidelity coupled aero/structural analysis of rotorcraft. The CFD and CSD modules are integrated through a high-level Python-based software integration framework. The different solvers used in Helios are written in different languages - Fortran90, C, and C++. This loosely-connected approach has the advantage that each module can be developed separately from one another, but as with any parallel code, a single poorperforming module can hinder the performance and scalability of the suite as a whole. We utilize the the TAU performance system® to assess the performance of different modules. TAU provides ways to measure both single processor execution and parallel scaling performance from the Python level, without adding trace calls or recompiling the underlying executables. This facilitates determination of both the execution rate and parallel performance of the different modules while they are still in the development stage, when their design can be most influenced. The paper discusses Helios, the different levels of instrumentation, and the measured serial and parallel performance of the software.

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