SPEC CPU®2017 Benchmark Description

510.parest_r

Wolfgang Bangerth <bangerth [at] gmail dot com>, et al.

A finite element solver for a biomedical imaging problem

510.parest_r solves a problem from biomedical imaging. Specifically, the underlying problem is the reconstruction of interior properties of a 3d body from multiple observations at its two-dimensional surface, in much the same way as multiple 2d X-ray images are combined to do 3d CT (computed tomography) scans. The difference to CT scans is that the method this program describes is infrared light that does not go through tissues in a straight line, but diffuses.

In order to understand how the overall algorithm works, let us stick with the example of CT for a moment. CT involves taking X-ray exposures of a body from different angles, and obtaining developed photo plates (or today, the data that comes from the digital X-ray detectors) placed on the other side of the body from the X-ray cannon. There is then a mathematical algorithm called the "inverse Radon transform" that reconstructs the 3d interior make up of the body from these 2d exposures.

When given a number of exposures from different angles, an implementation of
the algorithm will create some reconstruction of the body's interior. But is
your implementation correct? We don't know, because we don't know what the
*exact* make-up of the body was when the exposures were taken.

What one therefore does to test such implementations is to *assume* an
exact make-up and *compute* what exposures this *would* produce if one
were to do actual experiments (these are called "synthetic" measurements). One
then uses the implementation of the method on these exposures to reconstruct the
body. Because we know the *exact* make-up of the body from which these
exposures were creates, we can compare the *exact* and the
*reconstructed* make-up and ensure that they are the same, or at least that
the reconstructed make-up converges to the exact one as we add more and more
exposures.

This particular benchmark, 510.parest_r, does not actually deal with CT reconstructions. Rather, it is built to deal with a different biomedical imaging method called "fluorescence-enhanced optical tomography" that uses infrared light instead of X-rays because (i) infrared light is not harmful to humans, and (ii) because it provides a better contrast between healthy and diseased tissue than X-rays. The major difference between this method and CT is that the relationship between the body's interior we would like to reconstruct and what we can measure is not linear. Consequently, while a CT reconstruction algorithm can compute the body's interior make-up in one step, optical tomography methods need to do this iteratively: they start with an assumed make-up and over a number of iterations improve it until they think that they are close enough.

Under the hood, this requires solving the predicting set of partial differential equations many hundreds or thousands of times, for different hypothetical make-ups. This is done on locally refined finite element meshes that change over time as we hone in on the best reconstruction. In other words, there is a loop over a number of iterations (corresponding to the output "Step 1", "Step 2", etc in the log file for this benchmark), each of which improves our current best guess for the body's 3d interior make-up. Within each of these iterations or "steps", the algorithm re-computes the synthetic measurements and then loops over all of the experiments (corresponding to the exposures from different angles in the CT example) and predicts what we would measure with the current best guess make-up. At the end of each step, these predictions are then compared against the (synthetic) measurements and an improved guess is computed.

The implementation of all of this relies on the deal.II finite element library (see www.dealii.org) that also underlies the 447.dealII benchmark that is part of SPEC CPU®2006.

The input for 510.parest_r consists of a single input file with a suffix
`.prm`

that describes the problem completely. There are
`test.prm`

, `train.prm`

, and `ref.prm`

files in
the `data/`

subdirectory of this benchmark.

The format of these input files is intended to be self explanatory, using a set of parameters grouped into nested, hierarchical sections. The parameters are grounded in the mathematical and computational algorithms that underly the problem, as well as the kinds of models that are implemented.

A few parameters are of particular interest for benchmarking:

**Number of experiments**(in section "Global options"): Just as a CAT scan (computed tomography) assembles a 3d image from a number of 2d X-ray images taken from different angles, the algorithm in this program reconstructs a 3d image of the body from multiple exposures, or "experiments". This parameter controls how many experiments are used, each of which corresponds to projecting a different light pattern onto the surface of the body and measuring what light comes out. Since all the experiments are used at the same time, this parameter affects both the run time of the program (using twice as many experiments will require approximately twice as much CPU time) and memory consumption (using twice as many experiments will require approximately twice as much memory).**Maximal number of iterations**(in section "Newton method"): Each "iteration" of the algorithm uses the previous best guess of the body's interior, and updates or improves upon it by solving a set of partial differential equations using the finite element method on a mesh or grid (that is, subdivision of the body into small quadrilaterals or hexahedrals). More iterations therefore require more CPU time.Note that the relationship is not linear: if the algorithm decides that on the current mesh, no further improvement is possible, it "refines" the mesh, that is, it replaces some cells by smaller cells. Consequently, allowing more iterations also (sometimes) leads to finer meshes which require more memory and more CPU time to solve. Each mesh refinement (as indicated in the "log" output file) approximately doubles the memory and CPU requirements of an iteration.

**Reduction per mesh**(in section "Newton method/Mesh refinement details"): If all that is desired is to vary the run time of the benchmark, then one can also adjust this parameter. The smaller it is, the more progress the algorithm needs to make on the current mesh before it refines the mesh. A value of zero implies that the mesh will never be refined; the run time is then proportional to the number of iterations, and memory consumption will remain roughly constant throughout the entire run.

The test, train, and refrate input files for this benchmark only differ in the values for the first two parameters above.

Additional information about the parameters may be found in the output file
`me.prm`

(see next section).

The output produces a number of files that are validated for correct answers:

*.vtk | Graphical representation of the solution steps |

log | Progress of the computation |

statistics | Statistics about the solution and its progress (for example, the number of iterations required to achieve a certain internal tolerance) |

me.prm | Parameters for the run, including both those from the input file plus a listing for parameters that were not explicitly listed in the input file and therefore left at their defaults. |

C++

None

The benchmark should, in principle, only consist of standard C++98 constructs. That was one of the design goals.

SPEC CPU v1.1.5 added a portability option `-DSPEC_PAREST_STD_FLUSH_WORKAROUND` which works around an issue
in module `message_log.cc`, which takes the address of `std::flush` and uses it
in a comparison. If a compiler does not generate consistent results for the address, then the comparison fails and
510.parest_r does not generate any output.

It is also conceivable that a C++2003 compiler might forbid taking the address of `std::flush`,
because it was not explicitly deemed acceptable to do so prior to C++20.

In either of those cases, this flag may be used. It substitutes an alternate `flush` function in the
`MessageLog` namespace thereby allowing the comparison to succeed.

During testing with versions 5 and 6 of the GNU
compiler, there were a few reports of incorrect answers when compiling with
`-m32` + high optimization. Successful workarounds included:

- Use 64-bit compiles (
`-m64`) instead of 32-bit (`-m32`). - Or, use
`-march=i686`instead of more specific chip designators (such as`-march=native`). - Or, add
`-fno-tree-loop-vectorize`to disable certain loop transformations which would otherwise be enabled at level`-O3`.

It should be noted that a workaround such as the above would not qualify for use as a portability flag. In a base compilation, it would need to be part of the set of flags that are applied consistently to a set of benchmarks.

Users of C++11 (and later) compilers may see messages such as the above. For GCC V7, the full message is:

In file included from include/base/parameter_handler.h:18:0, from source/base/parameter_handler.cc:14: source/base/parameter_handler.cc: In member function 'double dealii::ParameterHandler::get_double(const string&) const': source/base/parameter_handler.cc:752:28: error: ISO C++ forbids comparison between pointer and integer [-fpermissive] AssertThrow ((s.c_str()!='\0') || (*endptr == '\0'),

**Solution:** There are three solutions.

- Use runcpu --update to update your copy of SPEC CPU 2017 to v1.1; or
- Tell your compiler to be less picky (for example, with
`g++ -fpermissive`); or - Try explicitly asking for the 2003 version of the standard (for example, with
`g++ -std=c++03`).

Note: neither solution 2 nor solution 3 would qualify for use as a portability flag. In a base compilation, it would need to be part of the set of flags that are applied consistently to a set of benchmarks.

The benchmark is licensed directly to SPEC by Wolfgang Bangerth. **Note: therefore, source code
references to other terms under which the program may be available are not relevant for the SPEC CPU® version.** It uses a
variety of files from BOOST, under the Boost Software License.

Please see details in the document SPEC CPU®2017 Licenses.

The **deal.II open source finite element library** home page is www.dealii.org. It includes
software, documentation, and mailing lists.

Many publications are linked from the primary author's page at Colorado State University www.math.colostate.edu/~bangerth/publications.html including:

- Wolfgang Bangerth, Ralf Hartmann, Guido Kanschat

**deal.II — a General Purpose Object Oriented Finite Element Library**

ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software, vol. 33 (2007), pages 24/1-24/27. -
Wolfgang Bangerth, Amit Joshi

**Adaptive finite element methods for the solution of inverse problems in optical tomography**

Inverse Problems, vol. 24 (2008), pp. 034011/1-22. -
Wolfgang Bangerth

**A framework for the adaptive finite element solution of large inverse problems**

SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, vol. 30 (2008), pp. 2965-2989.

Last updated: $Date: 2020-09-23 10:06:01 -0400 (Wed, 23 Sep 2020) $

Copyright © 2017-2020 Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC®)