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Proof of concept on ScalaCL

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Octocat-spinner-32 src
Octocat-spinner-32 README
Octocat-spinner-32 pom.xml
Octocat-spinner-32 scalacl-talk-ljc.odp
README
Overview
--------

This project is a proof of concept (poc) on usage of ScalaCL.
More information about ScalaCL can be found at:

    http://code.google.com/p/scalacl/

More info:
   Talk:   http://skillsmatter.com/podcast/home/fast-time-to-market-scala
   Slides: http://github.com/frgomes/poc-scalacl/blob/master/scalacl-talk-ljc.odp



Quick installation guide for the impatient
------------------------------------------

1. Install the compiler plugin

$ cd /whereaver/your/Scala-2.9.1/installation/is  # Scala 2.9.1, please
$ cd bin
$ ./sbaz install scalacl/0.3-SNAPSHOT-20120110    # 2012-01-10, please


2. Download from github

$ cd /wherever/your/git/repository/is
$ mkdir -p github/frgomes
$ cd github/frgomes
$ git clone http://github.com/frgomes/poc-scalacl


3. Run this project

$ cd poc-scalacl
$ mvn clean test  # this will take a while


If you found troubles of if your tests look to never finish, please read sections
"Requirements" and "Installation" below.



Requirements
============

1. You need at least one OpenCL enabled graphics card.
   See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCL

   Caveat: it's better to match endianess of your computer and your
   graphics card. This is not an strict requirement, but it helps if
   you are willing to eliminate steps during your evaluations.
   See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endianness

   I recommend a Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 for the i386 architecturea, like
   most regular PCs and modern Macs. This graphics card is cheap and has
   more than 300 PE (processing elements, or cores), which is plenty enough
   for our purposes.


2. You need JDK 6 and Scala 2.9.1

   Beware that Scala 2.9.2 had "Scala Tools" removed from the package.
   Installing a separate Scala Tools is beyond the objectives of this
   manual. In this case, we recommend Scala 2.9.1


Installation
============

Now you can jump to the "Quick installation guide for the impatient".



Other Considerations
====================


1. Tooling: stay in control of everything!

   Consider installation of tools in a fashion absolutely independent of
   operating system tools. Do not install Java, Ant, Maven, etc via
   package managers of your operating system. Keep your development
   environment absolutely separated.

   The recommendation is: download all tools you need and install under
   a specific directory structure. If you are using Windoze (poor you!),
   beware of spaces in directories and file names, Will Robinson!

   Below you see my configuration:


   export JavaDEV=/opt/java-dev
   
   export ANT_VERSION=1.8.2
   export M3_VERSION=3.0.4
   export GRADLE_VERSION=1.0
   export JAVA_VERSION=1.6.0_31
   export SCALA_VERSION=2.9.1.final

   export ANT_HOME=${JavaDEV}/apache-ant-${ANT_VERSION}
   export M3_HOME=${JavaDEV}/apache-maven-${M3_VERSION}
   export GRADLE_HOME=${JavaDEV}/gradle-${GRADLE_VERSION}
   export JAVA_HOME=${JavaDEV}/jdk${JAVA_VERSION}-linux-x86_64
   export SCALA_HOME=${JavaDEV}/scala-${SCALA_VERSION}

   export PATH=${PATH}:${SCALA_HOME}/bin:${JAVA_HOME}/bin:${GRADLE_HOME}/bin:${M3_HOME}/bin:${ANT_HOME}/bin


2. Memory considerations

   This project has performance tests which may take a while to execute.
   The more available memory you have in your computer, the better.
   The more memory you have in your graphics card, the better.

   Once you start playing with the sources, you will find implementations
   which demand better memory bandwidth from your computer or may demand
   a better graphics card.

   You will always find one bottleneck in your stress tests. Once you
   replace that piece of hardware or change the algorithm to circumvent
   that limitation, chances are you will have something running faster
   but now limited by another bottleneck.

   Anyway, plenty of memory is always a good thing.


3. Stress tests, bottlenecks

   The command "mvn clean test" may take a while the first time you run
   it, due to Maven downloading all dependencies you need.

   Next time you run, it will take one minute to complete or so.
   We are doing some basic matrix operations, from a matrix read from a
   CSV file made of 200 col X 1000 rows.

   Purposedly, I removed from sources some calculations which were
   taking more than more than 30 mins to complete in my old PC. I was
   calculating a 200x200 correlation matrix, were each cell is made
   of 1000 data points. I've created different implementations for that
   and I managed to reduce execution time to 6 mins, but I'm sure that
   there's lot of room for improvement yet.

   I've observed that my graphics card is still pretty much idle, despite
   of the relatively high workload. It means that my implementation is
   still struggling to use all resources available in the graphics card.

   There's one advantage of using an old PC: an old CPU with old memory
   modules will not help you anyhow if your implementation is poor.
   Only a good implementation, which uses memory bandwidth economically,
   employs CPU economically and pushes most of computation onto the GPU,
   will be able to perform properly.


4. Operating system considerations

   Finally, if you are serions about HPC, consider an operating system
   you can tweak all parameters you wish. This is not a critical factor
   if you are a newbie on the subject, but can make a lot of difference
   if you are serious about HPC.



Caveats
-------

Due to code refactoring in project http://github/ochafik/nativelibs4java/, in
particular on projects ScalaCL  and Scalaxy, you may face crashes when compiling
or executing code from these projects.

There's not much you can do at the moment, unless picking a version which works
well at the time it was built. Once we are using 0.3-SNAPSHOT, an update in the
future may break the "SNAPSHOT" version. For this reason, the installatin
instructions recommend a very specific version, with a certain date.



-- Richard Gomes
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