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BE-SST is a parallel and scalable coarse-grained simulator that employs statistical models to run probabilistic, discrete-event simulation by combining Behavioral Emulation (BE), a coarse-grained modeling approach and Structural Simulation Toolkit (SST), a parallel discrete-event simulation framework from Sandia National Laboratories. BE-SST can be used for application design-space exploration (DSE) where alternate algorithms of an application can be studied on a given architecture; or architectural DSE can be performed for a given application. BE-SST provides a distributed parallel simulation library for Behavioral Emulation through simple interfaces and framework for development of coarse-grained BE models which can be easily extended to model new notional architectures. BE-SST also provides the capability to plug-n-play different subsystems (node, interconnect, memory, etc.), which is necessary to study abstract and notional machines.

Note: Both SST-core and SST-element-BE are provided to you through this repository. You DO NOT have to download the SST-core from the SST website.

Build and Run

This is a quick start guide for BE-SST. For more detailed and step-by-step instructions on how to build, install and run BE-SST, refer to

Following dependencies are required to build and run BE-SST:

  1. gcc 4.7 and newer
  2. python 2 (anything in 2.7 branch)
    2.1 numpy package
    2.2 python-dev
  3. GNU make 4.0 or newer
  4. autotools (libtool, autoconf, automake)
  5. OpenMPI 2.1.3 (strongly recommended)
  6. Boost 1.56

Note: OpenMPI 2.1.3 and Boost 1.56 installation steps are listed

Example Build and Install Directories

These instructions will use the following conventions (the user can adjust these as they see fit):

  • Download directory $HOME/scratch
    • This directory will contain downloaded source code packages for SST and its dependencies.
    • The following directories should be created on the users machine
      • $HOME/scratch
      • $HOME/scratch/src
  • Download sst-core-devel and SST-elements-BE from the this GitHub repo inside the $HOME/scratch/src directory
  • Installation directory $HOME/local
    • This directory will be the installation directory for SST and its dependencies.
    • The following directories should be created on the users machine:
      • $HOME/local
      • $HOME/local/packages

Basic Build and Install

  1. Obtain sst-core-devel and sst-elements-BE from this github repo.
  2. Place sst-core-devel and sst-elements-BE in $HOME/scratch/src directory.
  3. Change directory to the SST-Core directory.
cd $HOME/scratch/src/sst-core-devel  
  1. Run the script to setup the configure for SST-core
  1. Configure SST-Core.
./configure --prefix=$HOME/local/sst-core-devel  
  1. Compile SST-Core.
make all  
  1. Install SST-Core.
make install  
  1. Change directory to sst-elements-BE directory
cd $HOME/scratch/src/sst-elements-BE  
  1. Run the script to setup the configure for BE element.
  1. Configure BE element.
./configure --prefix=$HOME/local/sst-elements-BE --with-sst-core=$SST_CORE_HOME --with-boost=$BOOST_HOME  
  1. Compile BE element.
make all  
  1. Install BE element.
make install  
  1. Verify SST Operation with a very simple sanity test (Note: Path to sst executable must be properly setup.)
sst --version  
  1. Navigate to the tests folder
cd src/sst/elements/behavioralEmulation/tests/  
  1. Running the test script for BE to check its functional correctness
  1. Running a test configuration to obtain a simulated time
./ -c  

Refer to the following papers for more information on BE [1] and BE-SST [2]:

[1] Kumar N., Pascoe C., Hajas C., Lam H., Stitt G., George A. (2016) Behavioral Emulation for Scalable Design-Space Exploration of Algorithms and Architectures. In: Taufer M., Mohr B., Kunkel J. (eds) High Performance Computing. ISC High Performance 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9945. Springer, Cham.
[2] Ajay Ramaswamy, Nalini Kumar, Aravind Neelakantan, Herman Lam, and Greg Stitt. 2018. Scalable Behavioral Emulation of Extreme-Scale Systems Using Structural Simulation Toolkit. In Proceedings of the 47th International Conference on Parallel Processing (ICPP 2018). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 17, 1–11. DOI:
If you consider using this work, please cite the above papers.

For any questions regarding the simulator, contact Aravind Neelakantan at


Coarse-grained system-level simulator developed at PSAAP II Center for Compressible Multiphase Turbulence at University of Florida






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