Systematic Design Space Exploration of Dynamic Dataflow Programs for Multi-core Platforms

The limitations of clock frequency and power dissipation of deep sub-micron CMOS technology have led to the development of massively parallel computing platforms. They consist of dozens or hundreds of processing units and offer a high degree of parallelism. Taking advantage of that parallelism and transforming it into high program performances requires the usage of appropriate parallel programming models and paradigms. Currently, a common practice is to develop parallel applications using methods evolving directly from sequential programming models. However, they lack the abstractions to properly express the concurrency of the processes. An alternative approach is to implement dataflow applications, where the algorithms are described in terms of streams and operators thus their parallelism is directly exposed. Since algorithms are described in an abstract way, they can be easily ported to different types of platforms. Several dataflow models of computation (MoCs) have been formalized so far. They differ in terms of their expressiveness (ability to handle dynamic behavior) and complexity of analysis. So far, most of the research efforts have focused on the simpler cases of static dataflow MoCs, where many analyses are possible at compile-time and several optimization problems are greatly simplified. At the same time, for the most expressive and the most difficult to analyze dynamic dataflow (DDF), there is still a dearth of tools supporting a systematic and automated analysis minimizing the programming efforts of the designer. The objective of this Thesis is to provide a complete framework to analyze, evaluate and refactor DDF applications expressed using the RVC-CAL language. The methodology relies on a systematic design space exploration (DSE) examining different design alternatives in order to optimize the chosen objective function while satisfying the constraints. The research contributions start from a rigorous DSE problem formulation. This provides a basis for the definition of a complete and novel analysis methodology enabling systematic performance improvements of DDF applications. Different stages of the methodology include exploration heuristics, performance estimation and identification of refactoring directions. All of the stages are implemented as appropriate software tools. The contributions are substantiated by several experiments performed with complex dynamic applications on different types of physical platforms.

Mattavelli, Marco
Lausanne, EPFL
Other identifiers:
urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-epfl-thesis7607-2

 Record created 2017-03-09, last modified 2019-03-17

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