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1 PPW Concepts

Welcome to the wonderful world of parallel performance analysis! As you may have already learned, getting a significant fraction of your hardware's peak performance is a challenging enough task for a single-CPU system, and trying to tune the performance of parallel applications can become overwhelming unless you have a tool to help you along your way. If you're reading this manual, then you're already on the right track.

First of all, we'll start with a brief background to experimental performance analysis, that is, analyzing your application by running performance experiments. If you're already familiar with performance analysis or performance tools, you can skip most of the rest of this section, although we do recommend that you glance through this section so that you are aware of the terminology that the rest of this manual uses.

Next, we'll overview some terminology related to different methods of collecting profile data. Feel free to skim through this section at first, but you may wish to read it more thoroughly after you've become more familiar with PPW.

Finally, we'll quickly describe PPW's general workflow. We highly recommend reading this section, especially if you have never used PPW before.