Reducing energy usage in resource-intensive Java-based scientific applications via micro-benchmark based code refactorings

Mathias Longo, Ana Rodriguez, Cristian Mateos, Alejandro Zunino

In-silico research has grown considerably. Today's scientific code involves long-running computer simulations and hence powerful computing infrastructures are needed. Traditionally, research in high-performance computing has focused on executing code as fast as possible, while energy has been recently recognized as another goal to consider. Yet, energy-driven research has mostly focused on the hardware and middleware layers, but few efforts target the application level, where many energy-aware optimizations are possible. We revisit a catalog of Java primitives commonly used in OO scientific programming, or micro-benchmarks, to identify energy-friendly versions of the same primitive. We then apply the micro-benchmarks to classical scientific application kernels and machine learning algorithms for both single-thread and multi-thread implementations on a server. Energy usage reductions at the micro-benchmark level are substantial, while for applications obtained reductions range from 3.90% to 99.18%.