Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Computer and Information Science

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Phillip E. Pfeiffer IV, Frank B. Hagelberg

Committee Members

Christopher D. Wallace


This thesis involves a case study in the use of parallelism to improve the performance of an application for computational research on molecules. The application, VASP, was migrated from a machine with 4 nodes and 16 single-threaded processors to a machine with 60 nodes and 120 dual-threaded processors. When initially migrated, VASP's performance deteriorated after about 17 processing elements (PEs), due to network contention. Subsequent modifications that restrict communication amongst VASP processes, together with additional support for threading, allowed VASP to scale up to 112 PEs, the maximum number that was tested. Other performance-enhancing optimizations that were attempted included replacing old libraries, which produced improvements of about 10%, and prefetching, which degraded, rather than enhanced, VASP performance.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.