Infoscience

Thesis

High-Performance Communication Primitives and Data Structures on Message-Passing Manycores: Broadcast and Map

The constant increase in single core frequency reached a plateau during recent years since the produced heat inside the chip cannot be cooled down by existing technologies anymore. An alternative to harvest more computational power per die is to fabricate more number of cores into a single chip. Therefore manycore chips with more than thousand cores are expected by the end of the decade. These environments provide a high level of parallel processing power while their energy consumption is considerably lower than their multi-chip counterparts. Although shared-memory programming is the classical paradigm to program these environments, there are numerous claims that taking into account the full life cycle of software, the message-passing programming model have numerous advantages. The direct architectural consequence of applying a message-passing programming model is to support message passing between the processing entities directly in the hardware. Therefore manycore architectures with hardware support for message passing are becoming more and more visible. These platforms can be seen in two ways: (i) as a High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster programmed by highly trained scientists using Message Passing Interface (MPI) libraries; or (ii) as a mainstream computing platform requiring a global operating system to abstract away the architectural complexities from the ordinary programmer. In the first view, performance of communication primitives is an important bottleneck for MPI applications. In the second view, kernel data structures have been shown to be a limiting factor. In this thesis (i) we overview existing state-of-the-art techniques to circumvent the mentioned bottlenecks; and (ii) we study high-performance broadcast communication primitive and map data structure on modern manycore architectures, with message-passing support in hardware, in two different chapters respectively. In one chapter, we study how to make use of the hardware features to implement an efficient broadcast primitive. We consider the Intel Single-chip Cloud Computer (SCC) as our target platform which offers the ability to move data between on-chip Message Passing Buffers (MPB) using Remote Memory Access (RMA). We propose OC-Bcast (On-Chip Broadcast), a pipelined k-ary tree algorithm tailored to exploit the parallelism provided by on-chip RMA. Experimental results show that OC-Bcast attains considerably better performance in terms of latency and throughput compared to state-of-the-art solutions. This performance improvement highlights the benefits of exploiting hardware features of the target platform: Our broadcast algorithm takes direct advantage of RMA, unlike the other broadcast solutions which are based on a higher-level send/receive interface. In the other chapter, we study the implementation of high-throughput concurrent maps in message-passing manycores. Partitioning and replication are the two approaches to achieve high throughput in a message-passing system. This chapter presents and compares different strongly-consistent map algorithms based on partitioning and replication. To assess the performance of these algorithms independently of architecture-specific features, we propose a communication model of message-passing manycores to express the throughput of each algorithm. The model is validated through experiments on a 36-core TILE-Gx8036 processor. Evaluations show that replication outperforms partitioning only in a narrow domain.

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