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BifurKTM: Approximately Consistent Distributed Transactional Memory for GPUs

Authors Samuel Irving, Lu Peng, Costas Busch, Jih-Kwon Peir



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Author Details

Samuel Irving
  • Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
Lu Peng
  • Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
Costas Busch
  • Augusta University, GA, USA
Jih-Kwon Peir
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

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Samuel Irving, Lu Peng, Costas Busch, and Jih-Kwon Peir. BifurKTM: Approximately Consistent Distributed Transactional Memory for GPUs. In 12th Workshop on Parallel Programming and Run-Time Management Techniques for Many-core Architectures and 10th Workshop on Design Tools and Architectures for Multicore Embedded Computing Platforms (PARMA-DITAM 2021). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 88, pp. 2:1-2:15, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)
https://doi.org/10.4230/OASIcs.PARMA-DITAM.2021.2

Abstract

We present BifurKTM, the first read-optimized Distributed Transactional Memory system for GPU clusters. The BifurKTM design includes: GPU KoSTM, a new software transactional memory conflict detection scheme that exploits relaxed consistency to increase throughput; and KoDTM, a Distributed Transactional Memory model that combines the Data- and Control- flow models to greatly reduce communication overheads. Despite the allure of huge speedups, GPUs are limited in use due to their programmability and extreme sensitivity to workload characteristics. These become daunting concerns when considering a distributed GPU cluster, wherein a programmer must design algorithms to hide communication latency by exploiting data regularity, high compute intensity, etc. The BifurKTM design allows GPU programmers to exploit a new workload characteristic: the percentage of the workload that is Read-Only (e.g. reads but does not modify shared memory), even when this percentage is not known in advance. Programmers designate transactions that are suitable for Approximate Consistency, in which transactions "appear" to execute at the most convenient time for preventing conflicts. By leveraging Approximate Consistency for Read-Only transactions, the BifurKTM runtime system offers improved performance, application flexibility, and programmability without introducing any errors into shared memory. Our experiments show that Approximate Consistency can improve BkTM performance by up to 34x in applications with moderate network communication utilization and a read-intensive workload. Using Approximate Consistency, BkTM can reduce GPU-to-GPU network communication by 99%, reduce the number of aborts by up to 100%, and achieve an average speedup of 18x over a similarly sized CPU cluster while requiring minimal effort from the programmer.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computer systems organization → Heterogeneous (hybrid) systems
Keywords
  • GPU
  • Distributed Transactional Memory
  • Approximate Consistency

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References

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