Workflow optimization of performance and quality of service for bioinformatics application in high performance computing

Rashid J. Al-Ali, Nagarajan Kathiresan, Mohammed El Anbari, Eric R. Schendel, Tariq Abu Zaid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Nowadays, High Performance Computing (HPC) systems commonly used in bioinformatics, such as genome sequencing, incorporate multi-processor architectures. Typically, most bioinformatics applications are multi-threaded and dominated by memory-intensive operations, which are not designed to take full advantage of these HPC capabilities. Therefore, the application end-user is responsible for optimizing the application performance and improving scalability with various performance engineering concepts. Additionally, most of the HPC systems are operated in a multi-user (or multi-job) environment; thus, Quality of Service (QoS) methods are essential for balancing between application performance, scalability and system utilization. We propose a QoS workflow that optimizes the balancing ratio between parallel efficiency and system utilization. Accordingly, our proposed optimization workflow will advise the end user of a selection criteria to apply toward resources and options for a given application and HPC system architecture. For example, the BWA-MEM algorithm is a popular and modern algorithm for aligning human genome sequences. We conducted various case studies on BWA-MEM using our optimization workflow, and as a result compared to a state-of-the-art baseline, the application performance is improved up to 67%, scalability extended up to 200%, parallel efficiency improved up to 39% and overall system utilization increased up to 38%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Computational Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016



  • Application performance and parallel efficiency
  • BWA-MEM algorithm
  • High performance computing
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Quality of service
  • Scalability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation

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