Interpreting and Visualizing Performance Portability Metrics

Jason Sewall, John Pennycook, Douglas W Jacobsen, Tom J Deakin, Simon N Mcintosh-Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

172 Downloads (Pure)


Recent work has introduced a number of tools and techniques for reasoning about the interplay between application performance and portability, or “performance portability”. These tools have proven useful for setting goals and guiding high level discussions, but our understanding of the performance
portability problem remains incomplete. Different views of the same performance efficiency data offer different insights into an application’s performance portability (or lack thereof): standard statistical measures such as the mean and standard deviation require careful interpretation, and even metrics designed specifically to measure performance portability may obscure differences between applications. This paper offers a critical assessment of existing approaches for summarizing performance efficiency data across different platforms, and proposes visualization as a means to extract useful information about the underlying distribution. We explore a number of alternative visualizations, outlining a new methodology that enables developers to reason about the performance portability of their applications and how it might be improved. This study unpicks what it might mean to be “performance portable” and
provides useful tools to explore that question.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE/ACM International Workshop on Performance, Portability and Productivity in HPC (P3HPC 2020)
Subtitle of host publicationSupercomputer 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
ISBN (Print)9780738110899
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2020
EventPerformance, Portability, and Productivity in HPC Forum 2020 -
Duration: 1 Sept 20202 Sept 2020


ConferencePerformance, Portability, and Productivity in HPC Forum 2020
Abbreviated titleP3HPC 2020
Internet address


  • high performance computing
  • performance portability


Dive into the research topics of 'Interpreting and Visualizing Performance Portability Metrics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this