Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


Maria Pantoja


Hydrology is the study of water. Hydrology tracks various attributes of water such as its quality and movement. As a tool Hydrology allows researchers to investigate topics such as the impacts of wildfires, logging, and commercial development. With perfect and complete data collection researchers could answer these questions with complete certainty. However, due to cost and potential sources of error this is impractical. As such researchers rely on simulations.

The Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model(also referenced to as DHSVM) is a scientific mathematical model to numerically represent watersheds. Hydrology, as with all fields, continues to produce large amounts of data from researchers. As the stores of data increase the scientific models that process them require occasional improvements to better handle processing the masses of information.

This paper investigates DHSVM as a serial C program. The paper implements and analyzes various high performance computing advancements to the original code base. Specifically this paper investigates compiler optimization, implementing par- allel computing with OpenMP, and adding distributed computing with OpenMPI. DHSVM was also tuned to run many instances on California Polytechnic State Uni- visity, San Luis Obispo’s high performance computer cluster. These additions to DHSVM help speed-up the results returned to researches, and improves DHSVM’s ability to be used with uncertainty analysis methods.


This paper was able to improve the performance of DHSVM 2 times with serial and compiler optimization. In addition to the serial and compiler optimizations this paper found that OpenMP provided a noticeable speed up on hardware, that also scaled as the hardware improved. The pareallel optimization doubled DHSVM’s speed again on commodity hardware. Finally it was found that OpenMPI was best used for running multiple instances of DHSVM. All combined this paper was able to improve the performance of DHSVM by 4.4 times per instance, and allow it to run multiple instances on computing clusters.