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Created 2015-07-06 18:30:35 | Updated 2015-07-07 15:32:56 |

TL;DR: mvn -Ddisable.shadepackage verify

### Background

In addition to Queue's GATK-wrapper codegen, relatively slow scala compilation, etc. there's still a lot of legacy compatibility from our ant days in the Maven scripts. Our mvn verify behaves more like when one runs ant, and builds everything needed to bundle the GATK.

As of GATK 3.4, by default the build for the "protected" code generates jar files that contains every class needed for running, one for the GATK and one for Queue. This is done by the Maven shade plugin, and are each called the "package jar". But, there's a way to generate a jar file that only contains META-INF/MANIFEST.MF pointers to the dependency jar files, instead of zipping/shading them up. These are each the "executable jar", and FYI are always generated as it takes seconds, not minutes.

### Instructions for fast compilation

While developing and recompiling Queue, disable the shaded jar with -Ddisable.shadepackage. Then run java -jar target/executable/Queue.jar ... If you need to transfer this jar to another machine / directory, you can't copy (or rsync) just the jar, you'll need the entire executable directory.

# Total expected time, on a local disk, with Queue:
#   ~5.0 min from clean
#   ~1.5 min per recompile

# always available
java -jar target/executable/Queue.jar --help

java -jar target/package/Queue.jar --help

If one is only developing for the GATK, skip Queue by adding -P\!queue also.

mvn -Ddisable.shadepackage -P\!queue verify

# always available
java -jar target/executable/GenomeAnalysisTK.jar --help

java -jar target/executable/Queue.jar --help

Created 2012-08-09 04:08:01 | Updated 2013-06-17 21:09:33 |

#### Objective

Test that Queue is correctly installed, and that the supporting tools like Java are in your path.

#### Prerequisites

• Basic familiarity with the command-line environment
• Understand what is a PATH variable
• GATK installed

#### Steps

1. Invoke the Queue usage/help message
2. Troubleshooting

### 1. Invoke the Queue usage/help message

The command we're going to run is a very simple command that asks Queue to print out a list of available command-line arguments and options. It is so simple that it will ALWAYS work if your Queue package is installed correctly.

Note that this command is also helpful when you're trying to remember something like the right spelling or short name for an argument and for whatever reason you don't have access to the web-based documentation.

#### Action

Type the following command:

java -jar <path to Queue.jar> --help

replacing the <path to Queue.jar> bit with the path you have set up in your command-line environment.

#### Expected Result

You should see usage output similar to the following:

usage: java -jar Queue.jar -S <script> [-jobPrefix <job_name_prefix>] [-jobQueue <job_queue>] [-jobProject <job_project>]
[-jobSGDir <job_scatter_gather_directory>] [-memLimit <default_memory_limit>] [-runDir <run_directory>] [-tempDir
<temp_directory>] [-emailHost <emailSmtpHost>] [-emailPort <emailSmtpPort>] [-emailTLS] [-emailSSL] [-emailUser
[-expandedDot <expanded_dot_graph>] [-startFromScratch] [-status] [-statusFrom <status_email_from>] [-statusTo
<status_email_to>] [-keepIntermediates] [-retry <retry_failed>] [-l <logging_level>] [-log <log_to_file>] [-quiet]
[-debug] [-h]

-S,--script <script>                                                      QScript scala file
-jobPrefix,--job_name_prefix <job_name_prefix>                            Default name prefix for compute farm jobs.
-jobQueue,--job_queue <job_queue>                                         Default queue for compute farm jobs.
-jobProject,--job_project <job_project>                                   Default project for compute farm jobs.
-jobSGDir,--job_scatter_gather_directory <job_scatter_gather_directory>   Default directory to place scatter gather
output for compute farm jobs.
-memLimit,--default_memory_limit <default_memory_limit>                   Default memory limit for jobs, in gigabytes.
-runDir,--run_directory <run_directory>                                   Root directory to run functions from.
-tempDir,--temp_directory <temp_directory>                                Temp directory to pass to functions.
-emailHost,--emailSmtpHost <emailSmtpHost>                                Email SMTP host. Defaults to localhost.
-emailPort,--emailSmtpPort <emailSmtpPort>                                Email SMTP port. Defaults to 465 for ssl,
otherwise 25.
-emailTLS,--emailUseTLS                                                   Email should use TLS. Defaults to false.
-emailSSL,--emailUseSSL                                                   Email should use SSL. Defaults to false.
secure! See emailPassFile.
-bsub,--bsub_all_jobs                                                     Use bsub to submit jobs
-run,--run_scripts                                                        Run QScripts.  Without this flag set only
performs a dry run.
-dot,--dot_graph <dot_graph>                                              Outputs the queue graph to a .dot file.  See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOT_language
-expandedDot,--expanded_dot_graph <expanded_dot_graph>                    Outputs the queue graph of scatter gather to
a .dot file.  Otherwise overwrites the
dot_graph
-startFromScratch,--start_from_scratch                                    Runs all command line functions even if the
outputs were previously output successfully.
-status,--status                                                          Get status of jobs for the qscript
-statusFrom,--status_email_from <status_email_from>                       Email address to send emails from upon
completion or on error.
-statusTo,--status_email_to <status_email_to>                             Email address to send emails to upon
completion or on error.
-keepIntermediates,--keep_intermediate_outputs                            After a successful run keep the outputs of
any Function marked as intermediate.
-retry,--retry_failed <retry_failed>                                      Retry the specified number of times after a
command fails.  Defaults to no retries.
-l,--logging_level <logging_level>                                        Set the minimum level of logging, i.e.
setting INFO get's you INFO up to FATAL,
setting ERROR gets you ERROR and FATAL level
logging.
-log,--log_to_file <log_to_file>                                          Set the logging location
-quiet,--quiet_output_mode                                                Set the logging to quiet mode, no output to
stdout
-debug,--debug_mode                                                       Set the logging file string to include a lot
of debugging information (SLOW!)
-h,--help                                                                 Generate this help message

If you see this message, your Queue installation is ok. You're good to go! If you don't see this message, and instead get an error message, proceed to the next section on troubleshooting.

### 2. Troubleshooting

Let's try to figure out what's not working.

#### Action

First, make sure that your Java version is at least 1.6, by typing the following command:

java -version

#### Expected Result

You should see something similar to the following text:

java version "1.6.0_12"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_12-b04)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 11.2-b01, mixed mode)  

#### Remedial actions

If the version is less then 1.6, install the newest version of Java onto the system. If you instead see something like

java: Command not found  

make sure that java is installed on your machine, and that your PATH variable contains the path to the java executables.

On a Mac running OS X 10.5+, you may need to run /Applications/Utilities/Java Preferences.app and drag Java SE 6 to the top to make your machine run version 1.6, even if it has been installed.

Created 2012-12-14 21:59:43 | Updated 2016-07-20 21:34:15 |

This document provides technical details and recommendations on how the parallelism options offered by the GATK can be used to yield optimal performance results.

### Overview

As explained in the primer on parallelism for the GATK, there are two main kinds of parallelism that can be applied to the GATK: multi-threading and scatter-gather (using Queue or Crom/WDL).

There are two options for multi-threading with the GATK, controlled by the arguments -nt and -nct, respectively, which can be combined:

• -nt / --num_threads controls the number of data threads sent to the processor
• -nct / --num_cpu_threads_per_data_thread controls the number of CPU threads allocated to each data thread

Each data thread needs to be given the full amount of memory you’d normally give a single run. So if you’re running a tool that normally requires 2 Gb of memory to run, if you use -nt 4, the multithreaded run will use 8 Gb of memory. In contrast, CPU threads will share the memory allocated to their “mother” data thread, so you don’t need to worry about allocating memory based on the number of CPU threads you use.

#### Additional consideration when using -nct with versions 2.2 and 2.3

Because of the way the -nct option was originally implemented, in versions 2.2 and 2.3, there is one CPU thread that is reserved by the system to “manage” the rest. So if you use -nct, you’ll only really start seeing a speedup with -nct 3 (which yields two effective "working" threads) and above. This limitation has been resolved in the implementation that will be available in versions 2.4 and up.

### Scatter-gather

For more details on scatter-gather, see the primer on parallelism for the GATK and the documentation on pipelining options.

### Applicability of parallelism to the major GATK tools

Please note that not all tools support all parallelization modes. The parallelization modes that are available for each tool depend partly on the type of traversal that the tool uses to walk through the data, and partly on the nature of the analyses it performs.

Tool Full name Type of traversal NT NCT SG
RTC RealignerTargetCreator RodWalker + - -
IR IndelRealigner ReadWalker - - +
BR BaseRecalibrator LocusWalker - + +
HC HaplotypeCaller ActiveRegionWalker - (+) +
UG UnifiedGenotyper LocusWalker + + +

Note that while HaplotypeCaller supports -nct in principle, many have reported that it is not very stable (random crashes may occur -- but if there is no crash, results will be correct). We prefer not to use this option with HC; use it at your own risk.

### Recommended configurations

The table below summarizes configurations that we typically use for our own projects (one per tool, except we give three alternate possibilities for the UnifiedGenotyper). The different values allocated for each tool reflect not only the technical capabilities of these tools (which options are supported), but also our empirical observations of what provides the best tradeoffs between performance gains and commitment of resources. Please note however that this is meant only as a guide, and that we cannot give you any guarantee that these configurations are the best for your own setup. You will probably have to experiment with the settings to find the configuration that is right for you.

Tool RTC IR BR PR RR HC UG
Available modes NT SG NCT,SG NCT SG NCT,SG NT,NCT,SG
Cluster nodes 1 4 4 1 4 4 4 / 4 / 4
CPU threads (-nct) 1 1 8 4-8 1 4 3 / 6 / 24
Data threads (-nt) 24 1 1 1 1 1 8 / 4 / 1
Memory (Gb) 48 4 4 4 4 16 32 / 16 / 4

Where NT is data multithreading, NCT is CPU multithreading and SG is scatter-gather using Queue or other data parallelization framework. For more details on scatter-gather, see the primer on parallelism for the GATK and the documentation on pipelining options.

Created 2012-12-18 21:35:34 | Updated 2016-06-29 04:58:17 |

This document explains the concepts involved and how they are applied within the GATK (and Crom+WDL or Queue where applicable). For specific configuration recommendations, see the companion document on parallelizing GATK tools.

## 1. The concept of parallelism

Parallelism is a way to make a program finish faster by performing several operations in parallel, rather than sequentially (i.e. waiting for each operation to finish before starting the next one).

Imagine you need to cook rice for sixty-four people, but your rice cooker can only make enough rice for four people at a time. If you have to cook all the batches of rice sequentially, it's going to take all night. But if you have eight rice cookers that you can use in parallel, you can finish up to eight times faster.

This is a very simple idea but it has a key requirement: you have to be able to break down the job into smaller tasks that can be done independently. It's easy enough to divide portions of rice because rice itself is a collection of discrete units. In contrast, let's look at a case where you can't make that kind of division: it takes one pregnant woman nine months to grow a baby, but you can't do it in one month by having nine women share the work.

The good news is that most GATK runs are more like rice than like babies. Because GATK tools are built to use the Map/Reduce method (see doc for details), most GATK runs essentially consist of a series of many small independent operations that can be parallelized.

Parallelism is a great way to speed up processing on large amounts of data, but it has "overhead" costs. Without getting too technical at this point, let's just say that parallelized jobs need to be managed, you have to set aside memory for them, regulate file access, collect results and so on. So it's important to balance the costs against the benefits, and avoid dividing the overall work into too many small jobs.

Going back to the introductory example, you wouldn't want to use a million tiny rice cookers that each boil a single grain of rice. They would take way too much space on your countertop, and the time it would take to distribute each grain then collect it when it's cooked would negate any benefits from parallelizing in the first place.

### Parallel computing in practice (sort of)

OK, parallelism sounds great (despite the tradeoffs caveat), but how do we get from cooking rice to executing programs? What actually happens in the computer?

Consider that when you run a program like the GATK, you're just telling the computer to execute a set of instructions.

Let's say we have a text file and we want to count the number of lines in it. The set of instructions to do this can be as simple as:

• open the file, count the number of lines in the file, tell us the number, close the file

Note that tell us the number can mean writing it to the console, or storing it somewhere for use later on.

Now let's say we want to know the number of words on each line. The set of instructions would be:

• open the file, read the first line, count the number of words, tell us the number, read the second line, count the number of words, tell us the number, read the third line, count the number of words, tell us the number

And so on until we've read all the lines, and finally we can close the file. It's pretty straightforward, but if our file has a lot of lines, it will take a long time, and it will probably not use all the computing power we have available.

So to parallelize this program and save time, we just cut up this set of instructions into separate subsets like this:

• open the file, index the lines

• read the first line, count the number of words, tell us the number
• read the second line, count the number of words, tell us the number
• read the third line, count the number of words, tell us the number
• [repeat for all lines]

• collect final results and close the file

Here, the read the Nth line steps can be performed in parallel, because they are all independent operations.

You'll notice that we added a step, index the lines. That's a little bit of peliminary work that allows us to perform the read the Nth line steps in parallel (or in any order we want) because it tells us how many lines there are and where to find each one within the file. It makes the whole process much more efficient. As you may know, the GATK requires index files for the main data files (reference, BAMs and VCFs); the reason is essentially to have that indexing step already done.

Anyway, that's the general principle: you transform your linear set of instructions into several subsets of instructions. There's usually one subset that has to be run first and one that has to be run last, but all the subsets in the middle can be run at the same time (in parallel) or in whatever order you want.

## 2. Parallelizing the GATK

There are three different modes of parallelism offered by the GATK, and to really understand the difference you first need to understand what are the different levels of computing that are involved.

### A quick word about levels of computing

By levels of computing, we mean the computing units in terms of hardware: the core, the machine (or CPU) and the cluster or cloud.

• Core: the level below the machine. On your laptop or desktop, the CPU (central processing unit, or processor) contains one or more cores. If you have a recent machine, your CPU probably has at least two cores, and is therefore called dual-core. If it has four, it's a quad-core, and so on. High-end consumer machines like the latest Mac Pro have up to twelve-core CPUs (which should be called dodeca-core if we follow the Latin terminology) but the CPUs on some professional-grade machines can have tens or hundreds of cores.

• Machine: the middle of the scale. For most of us, the machine is the laptop or desktop computer. Really we should refer to the CPU specifically, since that's the relevant part that does the processing, but the most common usage is to say machine. Except if the machine is part of a cluster, in which case it's called a node.

• Cluster or cloud: the level above the machine. This is a high-performance computing structure made of a bunch of machines (usually called nodes) networked together. If you have access to a cluster, chances are it either belongs to your institution, or your company is renting time on it. A cluster can also be called a server farm or a load-sharing facility.

Parallelism can be applied at all three of these levels, but in different ways of course, and under different names. Parallelism takes the name of multi-threading at the core and machine levels, and scatter-gather at the cluster level.

In computing, a thread of execution is a set of instructions that the program issues to the processor to get work done. In single-threading mode, a program only sends a single thread at a time to the processor and waits for it to be finished before sending another one. In multi-threading mode, the program may send several threads to the processor at the same time.

Not making sense? Let's go back to our earlier example, in which we wanted to count the number of words in each line of our text document. Hopefully it is clear that the first version of our little program (one long set of sequential instructions) is what you would run in single-threaded mode. And the second version (several subsets of instructions) is what you would run in multi-threaded mode, with each subset forming a separate thread. You would send out the first thread, which performs the preliminary work; then once it's done you would send the "middle" threads, which can be run in parallel; then finally once they're all done you would send out the final thread to clean up and collect final results.

If you're still having a hard time visualizing what the different threads are like, just imagine that you're doing cross-stitching. If you're a regular human, you're working with just one hand. You're pulling a needle and thread (a single thread!) through the canvas, making one stitch after another, one row after another. Now try to imagine an octopus doing cross-stitching. He can make several rows of stitches at the same time using a different needle and thread for each. Multi-threading in computers is surprisingly similar to that.

Hey, if you have a better example, let us know in the forum and we'll use that instead.

Alright, now that you understand the idea of multithreading, let's get practical: how do we do get the GATK to use multi-threading?

There are two options for multi-threading with the GATK, controlled by the arguments -nt and -nct, respectively. They can be combined, since they act at different levels of computing:

• -nt / --num_threads controls the number of data threads sent to the processor (acting at the machine level)

• -nct / --num_cpu_threads_per_data_thread controls the number of CPU threads allocated to each data thread (acting at the core level).

Not all GATK tools can use these options due to the nature of the analyses that they perform and how they traverse the data. Even in the case of tools that are used sequentially to perform a multi-step process, the individual tools may not support the same options. For example, at time of writing (Dec. 2012), of the tools involved in local realignment around indels, RealignerTargetCreator supports -nt but not -nct, while IndelRealigner does not support either of these options.

In addition, there are some important technical details that affect how these options can be used with optimal results. Those are explained along with specific recommendations for the main GATK tools in a companion document on parallelizing the GATK.

### Scatter-gather

If you Google it, you'll find that the term scatter-gather can refer to a lot of different things, including strategies to get the best price quotes from online vendors, methods to control memory allocation and… an indie-rock band. What all of those things have in common (except possibly the band) is that they involve breaking up a task into smaller, parallelized tasks (scattering) then collecting and integrating the results (gathering). That should sound really familiar to you by now, since it's the general principle of parallel computing.

So yes, "scatter-gather" is really just another way to say we're parallelizing things. OK, but how is it different from multithreading, and why do we need yet another name?

As you know by now, multithreading specifically refers to what happens internally when the program (in our case, the GATK) sends several sets of instructions to the processor to achieve the instructions that you originally gave it in a single command-line. In contrast, the scatter-gather strategy as used by the GATK involves separate programs. There are two pipelining solutions that we support for scatter-gathering GATK jobs, Crom+WDL and Queue. They are quite different, but both are able to generate separate GATK jobs (each with its own command-line) to achieve the instructions given in a script.

At the simplest level, the script can involve a single GATK tool*. In that case, the execution engine (Cromwell or Queue) will create separate GATK commands that will each run that tool on a portion of the input data (= the scatter step). The results of each run will be stored in temporary files. Then once all the runs are done, the engine will collate all the results into the final output files, as if the tool had been run as a single command (= the gather step).

Note that Queue and Cromwell have additional capabilities, such as managing the use of multiple GATK tools in a dependency-aware manner to run complex pipelines, but that is outside the scope of this article. To learn more about pipelining the GATK with Queue, please see the Queue documentation. To learn more about Crom+WDL, see the WDL website.

### Compare and combine

So you see, scatter-gather is a very different process from multi-threading because the parallelization happens outside of the program itself. The big advantage is that this opens up the upper level of computing: the cluster level. Remember, the GATK program is limited to dispatching threads to the processor of the machine on which it is run – it cannot by itself send threads to a different machine. But an execution engine like Queue or Cromwell can dispatch scattered GATK jobs to different machines in a computing cluster or on a cloud platform by interfacing with the appropriate job management software.

That being said, multithreading has the great advantage that cores and machines all have access to shared machine memory with very high bandwidth capacity. In contrast, the multiple machines on a network used for scatter-gather are fundamentally limited by network costs.

The good news is that you can combine scatter-gather and multithreading: use Queue or Cromwell to scatter GATK jobs to different nodes on your cluster or cloud platform, then use the GATK's internal multithreading capabilities to parallelize the jobs running on each node.

Going back to the rice-cooking example, it's as if instead of cooking the rice yourself, you hired a catering company to do it for you. The company assigns the work to several people, who each have their own cooking station with multiple rice cookers. Now you can feed a lot more people in the same amount of time! And you don't even have to clean the dishes.