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At CAVS, we have one of the most powerful computing infrastructures of any research center. We currently possess a 1000 node 1 GHz cluster and a 300 node 3 GHz cluster. However such high computing power is a waste if the the CPU utilization is low. Currently, we use PBS to submit jobs to the cluster. It takes time to get used to this system though, and each job requires a different script. Hence, setting up the individual scripts becomes a large task in itself. Such small things add to the overall productivity. Here at the IES (Intelligent Electronic Systems) group at CAVS, we are working on a tool called 'isip_run' which automates the process of job submission to the cluster. This tool will still use the default batch system, but it will be transparent to the user. This can be thought of as a commandline interface to the cluster. We are working at making this tool a general purpose utility so that it can be used for various tasks other than just speech jobs. For example we can run shell commands such as 'grep' and 'find' in parallel.

The primary aim is to submit N jobs to M cpus. At ISIP, we were using a similar tool, which was also called 'isip_run', but it was used only for parallel training on servers. The conventional method to submit jobs can be described by the diagram shown above. The diagram illustrates the fact that every job needs a script, and to generate these scripts we have to either write another perl/shell script or generate them manually.

The aim of 'isip_run' is to automate this process so that the user doesn't have to worry about creating scripts for submitting jobs. The commandline interface for isip_run is as follows:

isip_run -mode < cluster/server > -cpus < N number/server_names list file >
-command_to_execute < any command including shell commands > *.*
-batch_options < any batch system options other than the default ones >

The commandline will also accept a list of files instead of '*.*' and run jobs on those files. Now, script generation and submission will be transparent to the user, since the user just needs to run the above commandline. The jobs will be equally distributed to different cpus based on the number specified by the user. The screen will display the process id of the jobs along with the cluster name.

Sword_[4]: isip_run.exe -mode cluster -cpus 8 -command_to_execute 'ls -l' *.*

The job submission process using 'isip_run' can be represented by the following diagram:

It can easily be seen that the user does not have to worry about splitting the jobs and setting up the scripts. Everything is taken care of by 'isip_run'. This utility will be a part of our upcomming release. If you do not currently have ISIP's software installed, you may find detailed instructions on how to download and install our software on your system here.