Geant4 - Performance Data Visualization using d3.js

Table of Contents

Getting into the process

When the accepted projects were announced, I was part of the CERN-HSF under the Geant4 project with my project being Performance Analysis and Data Visualization. So, Now before we get started with the project, There is a phase of time known as the Community Bonding Period.

Each Organization has its own set of rules, workflows, and hierarchy to follow. Getting new contributors familiar with the organization during this period is crucial. During this time, Students get familiar with the work to be done in their community, know their mentors, plan their project in more detail, receive guidelines for contribution, get resources to gain knowledge on any topic, etc.

My Process

Talking about my personal experience, On 20th May I got to know about the selection, Then I got a mail from my mentor about an introductory call. In that, I and both of my mentors had a brief introduction. Further, We had a more project-oriented discussion about what part am I supposed to work on. Then I got some links to guest accounts in CERN which was to be used for further communication and activities. After, The first call, I was playing around with the repository and had a few errors and questions. So, the next week we had another discussion call where they helped me get these things fixed. Then I was advised to start working on the project to get started. Mentors taught me how the reports were generated, How to generate CSV reports and I got to know more about perf. They shared a few presentations and documentation by them which helped me in setting perf. Now, After this, I generated the reports by myself, Converted them into HTML Table. At first, I used a Python script using pandas but It was not a good idea because it doesn’t allow much customization. So, I figured it out by myself and got those tables by using D3.js itself. Then once the tables were on the page, I worked on filtering them.

I also got cleared that we were working on CMS which is a general-purpose detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). I visited the CERN website and had a virtual tour of the CMS. Everything seemed like rocket science to me, But I was blissful to have even a virtual tour of it. I wonder how great the people working there might be. Meanwhile, There was a GSOC Global Summit on 3rd June. So, I attended the whole summit. I have noted a few learnings which I took from the summit and they can be found here GSOC 22 Summit Learnings

Week 1

I already had a rough progress set, So it was easier to pick more clear ideas based on it. Let me show you the minimal version of the site which I already had at the start of Week 1 and by the end of community bonding. This is still better than what I had for my very first progress. I misunderstood and took the perf text reports and stick them to the site. But then mentors corrected me saying, They don’t need the Text or CSV report and it was all about converting the generated CSV report to HTML Tables.

In this, the table has been loaded from a demo.csv file which was not much filled with data. It was just a sample data file with a very less number of entries. Now, If you look closely, There is a threshold-based filtering part that I had implemented based on a For loop looping through all the entries and returning the ones that fall under that particular range. It was working well.

Now, I was expected to add colors to the tables based on the metrics, and also we had further discussions about the project for each chart individually. I colored the whole row based on a single metric. But, then I was corrected and expected to color not just the whole row but each cell based on their metric measures. So, I changed it as well and made each cell colored.

Now, One part of the project was to convert the perf reports to CSV file using the awk script which was done by my mentor Guilherme Amadio. There were now more than one CSVs and we should allow the user to visualize all the reports. So, the next thing I did was generalize the loading of CSV files into the site. Currently, All you have to do for adding a CSV file is to add it inside the Data/ directory and add the name of a file to the array. That will load all sort of files. Later I was thinking of even generalizing the array and letting it read files directly from the directory itself.

Now, There was some real problem with the threshold. Since, the last time I used perf on the reports and generated the CSVs, I got actual data which was quite large compared to my demo data. So, The for loop for threshold was taking a much longer time. It was the best possible way to find the entries in the threshold! Because it was O(N) I thought like this. But, When I discussed this issue with my mentor he suggested me to apply the filters just using the d3 logic so that, It will get those things colored during the transpilation of d3 to JavaScript. He shared a sample snippet of how it could be implemented. It helped me in drawing the idea for the same and I was able to implement the logic which was shifted to d3 and every time new thresholds are there, We need to load the whole CSV to Table reports. It was helpful and worked well as compared to my loop-based logic.

The design of the site was not so great, Because I had used view-height and view-width everywhere to adjust things. So, I was suggested to use Grid or Flex and make it more responsive. I also shared tutorials based on it. I was more comfortable with flex comparatively so I applied the flex to the whole site. I think it now looks much better than what It was looking before.

Here is the screenshot of the site at the end of Week 1.

Week 2

As you might have already seen in the image from last week, The first task was to get the numeric columns before the comm, dso, and Symbol. So, I made changes in the script which converted the perf reports to CSV to print the numeric columns first in order. This was an easy fix.

Now, the current measures make no sense to the readers. Raw data is not useful in any way. So, We need to convert the data into some relative measures. For Example, In measuring the CPU metrics, If the data file consists of Cycles and Instructions then we need to also add a measure of CPI. Also, the raw data must be formatted like The Cycles and Instructions must be the percentage of the total of the respective measures. Similarly for cache metrics if we have branches and branch misses then we must add a measure of Branch Miss Rate. There was an issue that some metrics were not calculated by the Intel processors so we couldn’t extract those data (L1 instruction loads). So, I spent some time fixing the code for including new metrics and improving the existing ones.

I was expected to install the CVMFS which is Cern VM (Virtual Machine) FS (File System) and mount the geant4 public repository which would create the bare clone on my system and allow me to run the Jenkins reports So, that I can run the perf reports available in the CI for Geant4. This was important to do because the current flame graph which I had was not showing up the actual measures. So, I had to set this up and run the Jenkins script. Now, Let me describe a problem faced by me in doing this. I use Ubuntu 22.04. But CVMFS doesn’t have the Fuse Libraries set up for 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish. So, I went to the GitHub repo and in one of the discussions saw that they are working currently on this. But there a simple workaround was suggested, Which was fetching the OpenSSL library by yourself and then using the Fuse for 20.04 as it is because the SSL was not packed by default in Jammy Jellyfish. While exploring this, I found out that the suggested work-around was upgraded to 2.15 from 2.13, and for some reason 2.13 was not existing anymore on the umd mirror. So, I commented on a new workaround in the issue itself and got the CVMFS settled on my system. Now, It was working fine and I mounted the Geant4 repo in it. Next was the CCACHE error while running the Jenkins script. I fixed the report script of Jenkins and made a pull to the original repo of g4run. And I started running the script. It was working fine, But meanwhile, for some spooky reasons my perf got broke and it was running continuously. So, I was not able to run the Jenkins script.

Another task of the project for the week was to implement the Tree-Maps from the data which was coming out from the perf reports using a script provided by Guilherme Amadio. So now, We had the treemaps on the site. But, One problem with them was, Initially When I tried loading the treemaps It won’t get rendered. Because the treemap nodes were required to get the offset positions of their measure on the screen size. But, I had used a property of CSS to let the contents of the site be hidden and it was display: none So, All the coordinates were returning 0. It took me a while to figure out why the treeMaps are not loading but finally, I found a way out of it to get the display: none property mocked without actually hiding the elements. So, All I did was replaced it with visibility: hidden and position: absolute. This helped with the site being able to render treemaps along with the other tab contents. It also improved the buffer performance of the site, Which I measured using performance analytics from the Chrome Dev Tools (Beta). I also added the Inverted Flamegraph but those will be soon replaced by The real working flame graphs.

Week 3

I successfully mounted the geant4 on the CVMFS as stated last week. This week we tried running the Jenkins script from the Geant4 hosted on CVMFS. Then the team needed the reports of Difference per function which I generated by hand and added to the reports. The main part was customizing the treemaps based on the metric used for diving it in a specific area, color or tool-tip. It was implemented as well. But it considered many edge cases which were causing if-else statements. But functionality comes first, And the performance of the software doesn’t get affected so it doesn’t matter. In the future, if we have time, We can think to make it more generic.

I also changed the color all over the reports and treemaps to green white and red scheme which initially was blue and red. It is now improved visually.

All of a sudden perf got broken on my laptop for no reason. Maybe it occurred since I was trying to compile another version of kernel for learning kernel development. It was still working fine with the sudo But it might mess up ahead in the repo. Anyways, I ran the Jenkins report but it was way too heavy for my PC to handle. Around 44 gigs were occupied which was weird for me. So, I got to know that perf is memory hungry. It is common. But a fix to this was generating only the e- electron reports and excluding others.

Link to my PR in the Week

Week 4

I am enjoying learning more and more about LHC. I must not say learning but It is more like knowing. I find it interesting to know more about LHC (Large Hedron Collider) and also about Higgs Boson particle. These things are way beyond my project work. They are making an impact on this planet. And it has new possibilities and capabilities. I love things at CERN. Meanwhile, I am also about to participate in WebFest which used to be a weekly hackathon but this year, It is stipulated over the month. And luckily, Their event theme is Environment and one of the project themes was Data Visualization. Thanks, To my GSOC Project, I will be having a good idea about the project compared to the case if I was not a part of GSOC under CERN.

This week we discussed a few things about the statistics to be derived from the existing metrics and the new ones to be added soon to the web. I then got a sudden thought of breaking down the difference report separately from the raw data because the diff report was of more importance to the developers. And then I got a “YES” for doing so.

My mentor already provided me with the extra data to be added. I included new reports, Updated the Colouring to come out more generically, and Popped up a difference tab out from the main raw reports. Fixed the sizing of the table cell’s height. This is how I made the coloring more generic through the snippet.

 const max_array = [];
        numeric_columns.forEach((i) => {
            const value_array= [];
            data.filter(d => {
                if(!isNaN(d[i]) && isFinite(d[i])){

The above snippet is using a D3.JS property which is d3.extent which will return you with an array of two elements one of which would be the minimum of all the elements and the other would be the maximum of all the elements.

Now the math which I currently use for coloring is lower 5% of the values would be green and the upper 5% would be red and in between I use white. But I still feel there is something not so good with my math behind this. I am sharing the snippet below for reference. I will be fixing this as soon as I get to know more clear insight into this statistics.

SOME_ELEMENT.style("background-color", d => {
                const max_col = max_array[numeric_columns.indexOf(d.column)]
                return d3.scaleLinear()

In the domain array, The 3 values come with [ 5% of min, 75% of max, 95% of max ] and the other two coming out from the extent with two values in [0] and [1] as min and max respectively. This comes over the case where I have if-else loops for each metric in specific which was the worst idea for mankind. Currently, this doesn’t look good, But soon it will be improved.

So, Next week we had already planned to bring out the scatter plot from the existing CSVs which we have with us.

Week 5

I made a simple version of the scatter plot using just the raw data. Then I tried adding a brush for selection to it. And slowly I progressed with it by adding fields to it like selection for X-Axis and Y-Axis then Radius and Colour of dots. Also, I had a tooltip that in the upcoming weeks will help show up the Spider-Plot for the specific data point.

Since I had a brush selection and a tooltip both together so I need to draw out some idea about how can I make both available. So, I decided to create a selection button, Which on turning ON will result in the selection mode, and in the OFF state it would turn out to become a tooltip mode. Creating this was not the actual problem. But once I created the button, There was a problem while holding the state of the scatter plot when the selection changes. What I mean is that If I use selection mode and change the measured area for the plot and then if I choose to use tooltip mode the whole Scatter plot gets updated when you change the state of the Switch. This was a real problem that I faced. But, In the end, I found the correct place to clear off the plot area only when you turn it back on for the second time. Also, With this, I invented another bug where two entries of the same scatter plot were created. So, I approached this using d3.selection and targeted the second entry, and removed it from the DOM. Also, I would like to share that, My brush feature works on event selection which has changed a lot from v3 to v7 of D3.js So, I had gone through the changes made to d3’s v7 since v5 and found a way out of it to make this more compatible with D3 v7 and ES6 ECMAScript syntax. It was good insight knowledge about the features which got deprecated due to bad architecture and other new ones which were included due to changes into ECMA Script.

Week 6

This is the final week before Mid-Evaluation. I asked about the ATLAS experiment and if we have the GDML for the same. So in that regard, we explored the FullSimLight which is an ATLAS equivalent for g4run as it is for CMS. I am still not sure about it. Maybe I can explore it a little bit and get myself comfortable with FulLSimLight as well. I then asked about WebFest at CERN and other kinds of stuff. Final remarks from the meet were, Everything up to the Mid-Evaluation is being done. Just fix up small errors on the axes of Scatter-Plot and create the skeleton for Spider Plot.

So, I worked for a good amount of time to figure out how I can show another chart in the tooltip. It got me into a good amount of brainstorming and I ended up creating something which shows a chart as a tooltip on top of some existing chart.

I messed up when I used a property d3.extent() for getting the maximum and minimum of the values into the plot axes ranges. But I really had no idea that I was not actually converting the data from string to number. So Let’s say your data array is [2,30,99,1234,75432] and the extent now was returning with [2,99] as in string 9 comes big in strength over digits so this was the thing that really broke my plot. And from this, I realized whether I messed up the same into the treemaps or reports. But the fix to this was really simple which I got from d3.js documentation. It was about adding the d3.autoType function to the path where we loaded CSV. So, It would on its own format the data for us. And with just that everything started working perfectly.

Week 7

I created a JavaScript coordinate geometry function and took the reference from Danny-Yang’s spider plot for defining the geometry in the spider plot. Also, I made the brushing tool to work in both dimensions which until now which was just X-Axis based. I wrote the working version of Spider Plot in my college library that is greatly known as “The Central Library” Of SVNIT in between the classes.

I got my evaluation passed into the GSOC for my Mid-Term and the Feedback which I got was :

“Progress has been very good so far. I believe that all deliverables will be on time for this project, and the quality of the work is also quite good.”

Week 8

For this week, I worked on the difference Tree-Map reports. There already existed the Tree-Map report by Guilherme, I used the same and got integrated with my version with a few modifications. Meanwhile, I also improved my old Tree-Maps a little bit.

Week 9

While preparing the Sunburst for this week I found a silly mistake in stratifying the data for the Sunburst. I fixed it and I created a Sunburst out of the existing data which is as same as for the TreeMaps but I still was facing issues while labeling the Sunburst. But a simple workaround was to just add the title on the hovering so we don’t need to worry much about the label. We planned this Sunburst plot as a summary of the data file.

My mentor suggested to me that, It would be good to separate the reports into two major parts one specifically for the Raw Reports and another for the difference report. So for next week, I would be doing this.

Week 10

As written in the last week, I was expected to separate the difference report into two different tabs. Then, my mentor was working on finding a way how can we integrate the existing reports into Jenkins and he told me not to worry much about the report integration, He would mostly take care of it, and once done, I can play with the Cmake file and adjust the JS variables out of it.

He also said It would be more helpful for the developers to sort the existing table files based on the column values. So, I worked on that part as well and implemented the sort feature when you click on the Table Head cell. Also, I was expected to change the Title of the Site from Peformatic Visuals to Geant4 Performance Reports.

I did all my changes and pushed them back to the repository. Now was the time for Jenkins Integration.

Week 11

The week was officially for the presentation and blog post. Since All of my deliverables were completed, I was expected to do the presentation. But I got busy with the CERN WebFest as it was the final week for submission. Moreover, We approached the completion of the program and my project of g4Web got merged into the g4Run PR for g4Web. I am thankful to my mentors and all the people who helped and will be helping further throughout the Entire Summer of Code in CERN-HSF.