SPEC ACCEL Benchmark Description File

Benchmark Name


Benchmark Author

Richard F. Barrett, Courtenay T. Vaughan, and Michael A. Heroux

Center for Computing Research, Sandia National Laboratories

Benchmark Program General Category

Finite difference

Benchmark Description

A broad range of scientific computation involves the use of difference stencils. In a parallel computing environment, this computation is typically implemented by decomposing the spacial domain, inducing a "halo exchange" of process-owned boundary data. This approach adheres to the Bulk Synchronous Parallel (BSP) model. Because commonly available architectures provide strong inter-node bandwidth relative to latency costs, many codes "bulk up" these messages by aggregating data into a message as a means of reducing the number of messages. A renewed focus on non-traditional architectures and architecture features provides new opportunities for exploring alternatives to this programming approach.

Input Description

Command line options:

--scalingParallel scaling configurationSCALING STRONG, SCALING WEAK*
--comm_methodBoundry exchange implementationCOMM_METHOD_BSPMA*, COMM_METHOD_SVAF
--stencilStencil to be appliedSTENCIL NONE, STENCIL 2D5PT, STENCIL 2D9PT, STENCIL 3D7PT, STENCIL 3D27PT*
--nx, --ny, --nzGrid dimension in (x; y; z) directions or Global values if strong scaling, local values if weak scaling. >0; 10*
--num_varsNumber of GRID arrays operted on.1-40*
--percent_sum(Approximate) percentage of variables summation reduced0-100; 0*
--num_tstepsNumber of time steps iterated.>0
--num_spikesNumber of source spikes inserted.>0
--npx, --npy, --npzLogical processor grid in (x, y, z)>0
--error_tolError tolerance.10-error_tol
--report_diffusionWrite error to stdout every n time stepsn >=0*
--debug_gridInitialize grids to 0, insert heat source in center.0 or 1*
--report_perfReporting options (Ignored in SPEC version)0*, 1, 2
* default value

Output Description

The benchmark self validates and only gives an error if the error tolerance is greater than the value defined by --error_tol.

For the original version, performance output is controlled by the command line option report perf. By default it is set to 0, resulting in the problem configuration and performance results written to a file named result.yaml, formatted using YAML2. By setting this option to 1, this information is also written to a text file named result.txt. Setting it to 2 adds per processor communication times to the result.txt file.

Programming Language


Threading Model


Known portability issues



  1. MiniGhost: A Miniapp for Exploring Boundary Exchange Strategies Using Stencil Computations in Scientific Parallel Computing; Version 1.0
  2. MiniGhost joins the suite of miniapps developed as part of the Mantevo project.