Type of publication
Publication in Conference Proceedings/Workshop
Year of publication
2021 IEEE/ACM 11th Workshop on Fault Tolerance for HPC at eXtreme Scale (FTXS)

Philipp Samfass, Tobias Weinzierl, Anne Reinarz and Michael Bader


P. Samfass, T. Weinzierl, A. Reinarz and M. Bader, "Doubt and Redundancy Kill Soft Errors—Towards Detection and Correction of Silent Data Corruption in Task-based Numerical Software," 2021 IEEE/ACM 11th Workshop on Fault Tolerance for HPC at eXtreme Scale (FTXS), 2021, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1109/FTXS54580.2021.00005.

Short summary
Resilient algorithms in high-performance computing are subject to rigorous non-functional constraints. Resiliency must not increase the runtime, memory footprint or I/O demands too significantly. We propose a task-based soft error detection scheme that relies on error criteria per task outcome. They formalise how “dubious” an outcome is, i.e. how likely it contains an error. Our whole simulation is replicated once, forming two teams of MPI ranks that share their task results. Thus, ideally each team handles only around half of the workload. If a task yields large error criteria values, i.e. is dubious, we compute the task redundantly and compare the outcomes. Whenever they disagree, the task result with a lower error likeliness is accepted. We obtain a self-healing, resilient algorithm which can compensate silent floating-point errors without a significant performance, I/O or memory footprint penalty. Case studies however suggest that a careful, domain-specific tailoring of the error criteria remains essential.