Predicting I/O Performance in HPC Using Artificial Neural Networks

Jan Fabian Schmid, Julian M. Kunkel


The prediction of file access times is an important part for the modeling of supercomputer's storage systems. These models can be used to develop analysis tools which support the users to integrate efficient I/O behavior.
In this paper, we analyze and predict the access times of a Lustre file system from the client perspective. Therefore, we measure file access times in various test series and developed different models for predicting access times.  The evaluation shows that in models utilizing artificial neural networks the average prediciton error is about 30% smaller than in linear models. A phenomenon in the distribution of file access times is of particular interest: File accesses with identical parameters show several typical access times.The typical access times usually differ by orders of magnitude and can be explained with a different processing of the file accesses in the storage system - an alternative I/O path. We investigate a method to automatically determine the alternative I/O path and quantify the significance of knowledge about the internal processing. It is shown that the prediction error is improved significantly with this approach.

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