10. Multi-instance component functionality

The CIME coupling infrastructure is capable of running multiple component instances (ensembles) under one model executable. There are two modes of ensemble capability, single driver in which all component instances are handled by a single driver/coupler component or multi-driver in which each instance includes a separate driver/coupler component. In the multi-driver mode the entire model is duplicated for each instance while in the single driver mode only active components need be duplicated. In most cases the multi-driver mode will give better performance and should be used.

The primary motivation for this development was to be able to run an ensemble Kalman-Filter for data assimilation and parameter estimation (UQ, for example). However, it also provides the ability to run a set of experiments within a single model executable where each instance can have a different namelist, and to have all the output go to one directory.

An F compset is used in the following example. Using the multiple-instance code involves the following steps:

1. Create the case.

> create_newcase --case Fmulti --compset F2000_DEV --res f19_f19_mg17
> cd Fmulti

2. Assume this is the out-of-the-box pe-layout:

CPL :    144/     1;      0
ATM :    144/     1;      0
LND :    144/     1;      0
ICE :    144/     1;      0
OCN :    144/     1;      0
ROF :    144/     1;      0
GLC :    144/     1;      0
WAV :    144/     1;      0
ESP :      1/     1;      0

The atm, lnd, rof and glc are active components in this compset. The ocn is a prescribed data component, cice is a mixed prescribed/active component (ice-coverage is prescribed), and wav and esp are stub components.

Let’s say we want to run two instances of CAM in this experiment. We will also have to run two instances of CLM, CICE, RTM and GLC. However, we can run either one or two instances of DOCN, and we can ignore the stub components since they do not do anything in this compset.

To run two instances of CAM, CLM, CICE, RTM, GLC and DOCN, invoke the following :ref: xmlchange<modifying-an-xml-file> commands in your $CASEROOT directory:

> ./xmlchange NINST_ATM=2
> ./xmlchange NINST_LND=2
> ./xmlchange NINST_ICE=2
> ./xmlchange NINST_ROF=2
> ./xmlchange NINST_GLC=2
> ./xmlchange NINST_OCN=2

As a result, you will have two instances of CAM, CLM and CICE (prescribed), RTM, GLC, and DOCN, each running concurrently on 72 MPI tasks and all using the same driver/coupler component. In this single driver/coupler mode the number of tasks for each component instance is NTASKS_COMPONENT/NINST_COMPONENT and the total number of tasks is the same as for the single instance case.

Now consider the multi driver model. To use this mode change

> ./xmlchange MULTI_DRIVER=TRUE

This configuration will run each component instance on the original 144 tasks but will generate two copies of the model (in the same executable) for a total of 288 tasks.

3. Set up the case

> ./case.setup

A new user_nl_xxx_NNNN file is generated for each component instance when case.setup is called (where xxx is the component type and NNNN is the number of the component instance). When calling case.setup with the env_mach_pes.xml file specifically, these files are created in $CASEROOT:

user_nl_cam_0001 user_nl_clm_0001 user_nl_docn_0001 user_nl_cice_0001
user_nl_cism_0001 user_nl_mosart_0001
user_nl_cam_0002 user_nl_clm_0002 user_nl_docn_0002 user_nl_cice_0002
user_nl_cism_0002 user_nl_mosart_0002

The namelist for each component instance can be modified by changing the corresponding user_nl_xxx_NNNN file. Modifying user_nl_cam_0002 will result in your namelist changes being active ONLY for the second instance of CAM. To change the DOCN stream txt file instance 0002, copy docn.streams.txt.prescribed_0002 to your $CASEROOT directory with the name user_docn.streams.txt.prescribed_0002 and modify it accordlingly.

Also keep these important points in mind:

  1. Note that these changes can be made at create_newcase time with option –ninst # where # is a positive integer, use the additional logical option –multi-driver to invoke the multi-driver mode.

  2. Multiple component instances can differ ONLY in namelist settings; they ALL use the same model executable.

  3. Calling case.setup with --clean DOES NOT remove the user_nl_xxx_NN (where xxx is the component name) files created by case.setup.

  4. A special variable NINST_LAYOUT is provided for some experimental compsets, its value should be ‘concurrent’ for all but a few special cases and it cannot be used if MULTI_DRIVER=TRUE.

  5. In create_test these options can be invoked with testname modifiers _N# for the single driver mode and _C# for the multi-driver mode. These are mutually exclusive options, they cannot be combined.

  6. In create_newcase you may use –ninst # to set the number of instances and –multi-driver for multi-driver mode.

  7. In multi-driver mode you will always get 1 instance of each component for each driver/coupler, if you change a case using xmlchange MULTI_COUPLER=TRUE you will get a number of driver/couplers equal to the maximum NINST value over all components.