PARALiA: A Performance Aware Runtime for Auto-tuning Linear Algebra on Heterogeneous Systems

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Dense linear algebra operations appear very frequently in high-performance computing (HPC) applications, rendering their performance crucial to achieve optimal scalability. As many modern HPC clusters contain multi-GPU nodes, BLAS operations are frequently offloaded on GPUs, necessitating the use of optimized libraries to ensure good performance. Unfortunately, multi-GPU systems are accompanied by two significant optimization challenges: data transfer bottlenecks as well as problem splitting and scheduling in multiple workers (GPUs) with distinct memories. We demonstrate that the current multi-GPU BLAS methods for tackling these challenges target very specific problem and data characteristics, resulting in serious performance degradation for any slightly deviating workload. Additionally, an even more critical decision is omitted because it cannot be addressed using current scheduler-based approaches: the determination of which devices should be used for a certain routine invocation. To address these issues we propose a model-based approach: using performance estimation to provide problem-specific autotuning during runtime. We integrate this autotuning into an end-to-end BLAS framework named PARALiA. This framework couples autotuning with an optimized task scheduler, leading to near-optimal data distribution and performance-aware resource utilization. We evaluate PARALiA in an HPC testbed with 8 NVIDIA-V100 GPUs, improving the average performance of GEMM by 1.7× and energy efficiency by 2.5× over the state-of-the-art in a large and diverse dataset and demonstrating the adaptability of our performance-aware approach to future heterogeneous systems.




Anastasiadis, P., Papadopoulou, N., Goumas, G., Koziris, N., Hoppe, D., & Zhong, L. (2023). PARALiA: A Performance Aware Runtime for Auto-tuning Linear Algebra on Heterogeneous Systems. ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization, 20(4).

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