## Section: Software

`Scotch`

Participant : François Pellegrini [ corresponding member ] .

`Scotch` (http://www.labri.fr/~pelegrin/scotch/ ) is a software package for
parallel and sequential sparse matrix ordering, parallel and
sequential graph partitioning, as well as sequential static mapping,
and mesh and hypergraph partitioning.

The initial purpose of `Scotch` was to compute high-quality
partitions and static mappings of valuated graphs representing
parallel computations and target architectures of arbitrary
topologies. The original contribution consisted in developing a
“*divide and conquer* ” algorithm in which processes are
recursively mapped onto processors by using graph bisection algorithms
that are applied both to the process graph and to the architecture
graph. This allows the mapper to take into account the topology and
heterogeneity of the valuated graph which models the interconnection
network and its resources (processor speed, link bandwidth). As new
multicore, multinode parallel machines tend to be less uniform in
terms of memory latency and communication bandwidth, this feature is
regaining interest.

The software has then been extended in order to produce vertex separators instead of edge separators, using a multilevel framework. Recursive vertex separation is used to compute orderings of the unknowns of large sparse linear systems, which both preserve sparsity when factorizing the matrix and exhibit concurrency for computing and solving the factored matrix in parallel.

Version `5.0` of `Scotch` , released on August 2007,
was the first version to comprise parallel routines. This extension,
called `PT-Scotch` (for “*Parallel Threaded * `Scotch` * ”), is based
on a distributed memory model, and makes use of the MPI and,
optionally, Posix thread APIs. A distributed graph structure has been
defined, which allows users to reserve vertex indices on each
processor for future local adaptive refinement. Its parallel graph
ordering routine provides orderings which are of the same quality as
the ones yielded by the sequential Scotch ordering routine, while
competing software ParMETIS experiences a severe loss of quality
when the number of processors increase. Scotch 5.0 was
released under the CeCILL-C free/libre software license, and has
been registered at APP (“Agence pour la Protection des Programmes”).*

*Version 5.1 of Scotch , released on September 2008, extended the parallel features of
PT-Scotch , which can now compute graph partitions in parallel by means
of a parallel recursive bipartitioning framework.*

`Scotch` has been integrated in numerous third-party software, which
indirectly contribute to its diffusion. For instance, it is used by
the Zoltan module of the Trilinos software (SANDIA
Labs), by Code_Aster Libre , a GPLed thermal and mechanical analysis
software developed by French state-owned electricity producer EDF, by
the parallel solvers `MUMPS` (ENSEEITH/IRIT, LIP and LaBRI),
`SuperLUDist` (U.C. Berkeley), `PaStiX` (LaBRI) and `HIPS` (LaBRI),
as well as by several other scientific computing software.