PACE - a toolset for the performance prediction of parallel and distributed systems. This paper describes a methodology that provides detailed predictive performance information throughout the software design and implementation cycles. It is structured around a hierarchy of performance models that describe the computing system in terms of its software, parallelization, and hardware components. The methodology is illustrated with an implementation, the performance analysis and characterization environment (PACE) system, which provides information concerning execution time, scalability, and resource use. A principal aim of the work is to provide a capability for rapid calculation of relevant performance numbers without sacrificing accuracy. The predictive nature of the approach provides both pre and post implementation analyses and allows implementation alternatives to be explored prior to the commitment of an application to a system. Because of the relatively fast analysis times, these techniques can be used at runtime to assist in application steering and scheduling with reference to dynamically changing systems and metacomputing.

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