TECA comes with an extensive regression test suite which can be used to validate your build. The tests can be executed from the build directory with the ctest command.

ctest --output-on-failure

Note that PYTHONPATH, LD_LIBRARY_PATH and DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH will need to be set to include the build’s lib directory and PATH will need to be set to include “.”.

Timing and Profiling

TECA contains built in profiling mechanism which captures the run time of each stage of a pipeline’s execution and a sampling memory profiler.

The profiler records the times of user defined events and sample memory at a user specified interval. The resulting data is written in parallel to a CSV file in rank order. Times are stored in one file and memory use samples in another. Each memory use sample includes the time it was taken, so that memory use can be mapped back to corresponding events.


In some cases TECA’s built in profiling can negatively impact run time performance as the number of threads is increased. For that reason one should not use it in performance studies. However, it is well suited to debugging and diagnosing scaling issues and understanding control flow.


The profiler is not built by default and must be compiled in by adding -DTECA_ENABLE_PROFILER=ON to the CMake command line. Be sure to build in release mode with -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release and also add -DNDEBUG to the CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS_RELEASE. Once compiled the built in profilier may be enabled at run time via environment variables described below or directly using its API.

Runtime controls

The profiler is activated by the following environment variables. Environmental variables are parsed in teca_profiler::initialize. This should be automatic in most cases as it’s called from teca_mpi_manager which is used by parallel TECA applications and tests.

Variable Description
PROFILER_ENABLE integer turns on or off logging
PROFILER_LOG_FILE path to write timer log to
MEMPROF_LOG_FILE path to write memory profiler log to
MEMPROF_INTERVAL float number of seconds between memory recordings


The command line application teca_profile_explorer can be used to analyze the log files. The application requires a timer profile file and a list of MPI ranks to analyze be passed on the command line. Optionally a memory profile file can be passed as well. For instance, the following command was used to generate figure Fig. 12.

./bin/teca_profile_explorer -e bin/test/test_bayesian_ar_detect \
   -m bin/test/test_bayesian_ar_detect_mem -r 0

When run the teca_profile_explorer creast an interactive window displaying a Gantt chart for each MPI rank. The chart is organized with a row for each thread. Threads with more events are displayed higher up. For each thread, and every logged event, a colored rectangle is rendered. There can be 10’s - 100’s of unique events per thread thus it is impractical to display a legend. However, clicking on an event rectangle in the plot will result in all the data associated with the event being printed in the terminal. If a memory profile is passed on the command line the memory profile is normalized to the height of the plot and shown on top of the event profile. The maximum memory use is added to the title of the plot. Example output is shown in Fig. 12.


Fig. 12 Visualization of TECA’s run time profiler for the test_bayesian_ar_detect regression test, run with 1 MPI rank and 10 threads.