Template Numerical Library version main:1655e92
Comparison with other libraries

Memory space and execution model

TNL has separate concepts for the memory space and execution model, which are represented by different template parameters. See the Core concepts page for details.

  • Most other libraries have separate types for CPU and GPU data structures (e.g. Vector and cuVector):
  • These libraries have the concept of a "memory space" which is configurable as a template parameter:
    • CUV
    • CUSP - but CUSP uses Thrust, so device_memory might be the same as host_memory if OpenMP is used as the device
    • Kokkos - they have a concept of a "memory space" and "execution space", but there is also some default choice of the spaces, possibly even through command-line arguments (in which case the array type would be polymorphic, because something has to store the current memory/execution space)
  • These libraries have transparent access to the data from GPU and CPU:
    • the CUDA toolkit itself, via cudaMallocManaged
    • cudarrays - they have custom virtual memory system using cudaMalloc and the standard host allocator
  • These libraries select the (default) device based on some macro (this approach is way too simple, because multiple different devices cannot be combined):
  • These libraries do not abstract memory space, only execution model:
    • RAJA
    • Nebo (also with a macro-based selection)

Multidimensional arrays

TODO: compare the implementation of multidimensional arrays (features described in the merge request: https://gitlab.com/tnl-project/tnl/merge_requests/18 )

  • http://cpptruths.blogspot.cz/2011/10/multi-dimensional-arrays-in-c11.html
  • http://www.nongnu.org/tensors/ (last commit in 2012)
  • https://bitbucket.org/wlandry/ftensor/src
  • Eigen tensors - Many operations, expression templates, either pure-static or pure-dynamic sizes, only column-major format (row-major support is incomplete), little GPU support.
  • cudarrays - Only up to 3D arrays, both static and dynamic, compile-time permutations using std::tuple.
  • RAJA - No memory management, views are initialized with a raw pointer, index permutations are initialized at runtime, only dynamic dimensions.
  • Kokkos - Configurable layout and default selection based on the memory/execution space, but only AoS and SoA are considered, even for N > 2. For parallel work there is only one leading dimension - it does not map to 2D or 3D CUDA grids.
  • CUV - Assumption that "everything is an n-dimensional array" (like Matlab), CPU and GPU support, column-major or row-major, integration with Python and Numpy.

Unstructured meshes

TNL has a unique data structure for the representation of unstructured meshes in high-performance simulation software, including GPU accelerators. See the original paper Configurable open-source data structure for distributed conforming unstructured homogeneous meshes with GPU support for the design choices an benchmarks comparing it to the MOAB library.