GPGPU '20: Proceedings of the 13th Annual Workshop on General Purpose Processing using Graphics Processing Unit

Full Citation in the ACM Digital Library

The Minos Computing Library: efficient parallel programming for extremely heterogeneous systems

Hardware specialization has become the silver bullet to achieve efficient high performance, from Systems-on-Chip systems, where hardware specialization can be "extreme", to large-scale HPC systems. As the complexity of the systems increases, so does the complexity of programming such architectures in a portable way.

This work introduces the Minos Computing Library (MCL), as system software, programming model, and programming model runtime that facilitate programming extremely heterogeneous systems. MCL supports the execution of several multi-threaded applications within the same compute node, performs asynchronous execution of application tasks, efficiently balances computation across hardware resources, and provides performance portability.

We show that code developed on a personal desktop automatically scales up to fully utilize powerful workstations with 8 GPUs and down to power-efficient embedded systems. MCL provides up to 17.5x speedup over OpenCL on NVIDIA DGX-1 systems and up to 1.88x speedup on single-GPU systems. In multi-application workloads, MCL's dynamic resource allocation provides up to 2.43x performance improvement over manual, static resources allocation.

Unveiling kernel concurrency in multiresolution filters on GPUs with an image processing DSL

Multiresolution filters, analyzing information at different scales, are crucial for many applications in digital image processing. The different space and time complexity at distinct scales in the unique pyramidal structure poses a challenge as well as an opportunity to implementations on modern accelerators such as GPUs with an increasing number of compute units. In this paper, we exploit the potential of concurrent kernel execution in multiresolution filters. As a major contribution, we present a model-based approach for performance analysis of as well single- as multi-stream implementations, combining both application- and architecture-specific knowledge. As a second contribution, the involved transformations and code generators using CUDA streams on Nvidia GPUs have been integrated into a compiler-based approach using an image processing DSL called Hipacc. We then apply our approach to evaluate and compare the achieved performance for four real-world applications on three GPUs. The results show that our method can achieve a geometric mean speedup of up to 2.5 over the original Hipacc implementation without our approach, up to 2.0 over the other state-of-the-art DSL Halide, and up to 1.3 over the recently released programming model CUDA Graph from Nvidia.

High-level hardware feature extraction for GPU performance prediction of stencils

High-level functional programming abstractions have started to show promising results for HPC (High-Performance Computing). Approaches such as Lift, Futhark or Delite have shown that it is possible to have both, high-level abstractions and performance, even for HPC workloads such as stencils. In addition, these high-level functional abstractions can also be used to represent programs and their optimized variants, within the compiler itself. However, such high-level approaches rely heavily on the compiler to optimize programs which is notoriously hard when targeting GPUs.

Compilers either use hand-crafted heuristics to direct the optimizations or iterative compilation to search the optimization space. The first approach has fast compile times, however, it is not performance-portable across different devices and requires a lot of human effort to build the heuristics. Iterative compilation, on the other hand, has the ability to search the optimization space automatically and adapts to different devices. However, this process is often very time-consuming as thousands of variants have to be evaluated. Performance models based on statistical techniques have been proposed to speedup the optimization space exploration. However, they rely on low-level hardware features, in the form of performance counters or low-level static code features.

Using the Lift framework, this paper demonstrates how low-level, GPU-specific features are extractable directly from a high-level functional representation. The Lift IR (Intermediate Representation) is in fact a very suitable choice since all optimization choices are exposed at the IR level. This paper shows how to extract low-level features such as number of unique cache lines accessed per warp, which is crucial for building accurate GPU performance models. Using this approach, we are able to speedup the exploration of the space by a factor 2000x on an AMD GPU and 450x on Nvidia on average across many stencil applications.

GPGPU performance estimation for frequency scaling using cross-benchmarking

Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (D VFS) on General-Purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPGPUs) is now becoming one of the most significant techniques to balance computational performance and energy consumption. However, there are still few fast and accurate models for predicting GPU kernel execution time under different core and memory frequency settings, which is important to determine the best frequency configuration for energy saving. Accordingly, a novel GPGPU performance estimation model with both core and memory frequency scaling is herein proposed. We design a cross-benchmarking suite, which simulates kernels with a wide range of instruction distributions. The synthetic kernels generated by this suite can be used for model pre-training or as supplementary training samples. Then we apply two different machine learning algorithms, Support Vector Regression (SVR) and Gradient Boosting Decision Tree (GBDT), to study the correlation between kernel performance counters and kernel performance. The models trained only with our cross-benchmarking suite achieve satisfying accuracy (16%~22% mean absolute error) on 24 unseen real application kernels. Validated on three modern GPUs with a wide frequency scaling range, by using a collection of 24 real application kernels, the proposed model is able to achieve accurate results (5.1%, 2.8%, 6.5% mean absolute error) for the target GPUs (GTX 980, Titan X Pascal and Tesla P100).

Automatic generation of specialized direct convolutions for mobile GPUs

Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are a powerful and versatile tool for performing computer vision tasks in both resource constrained settings and server-side applications. Most GPU hardware vendors provide highly tuned libraries for CNNs such as Nvidia's cuDNN or ARM Compute Library. Such libraries are the basis for higher-level, commonly-used, machine-learning frameworks such as PyTorch or Caffe, abstracting them away from vendor-specific implementation details. However, writing optimized parallel code for GPUs is far from trivial. This places a significant burden on hardware-specific library writers which have to continually play catch-up with rapid hardware and network evolution.

To reduce effort and reduce time to market, new approaches are needed based on automatic code generation, rather than manual implementation. This paper describes such an approach for direct convolutions using Lift, a new data-parallel intermediate language and compiler. Lift uses a high-level intermediate language to express algorithms which are then automatically optimized using a system of rewrite-rules. Direct convolution, as opposed to the matrix multiplication approach used commonly by machine-learning frameworks, uses an order of magnitude less memory, which is critical for mobile devices. Using Lift, we show that it is possible to generate automatically code that is X10 faster than the direct convolution while using X3.6 less space than the GEMM-based convolution of the very specialized ARM Compute Library on the latest generation of ARM Mali GPU.

Custom code generation for a graph DSL

We present challenges faced in making a domain-specific language (DSL) for graph algorithms adapt to varying requirements of generating a spectrum of efficient parallel codes. Graph algorithms are at the heart of several applications, and achieving high performance on graph applications has become critical due to the tremendous growth of irregular data. However, irregular algorithms are quite challenging to auto-parallelize, due to access patterns influenced by the input graph - which is unavailable until execution. Former research has addressed this issue by designing DSLs for graph algorithms, which restrict generality but allow efficient codegeneration for various backends. Such DSLs are, however, too rigid, and do not adapt to changes. For instance, these DSLs are incapable of changing the way of processing if the underlying graph changes. As another instance, most of the DSLs do not support more than one backends. We narrate our experiences in making an existing DSL, named Falcon, adaptive. The biggest challenge in the process is to retain the DSL code for specifying the underlying algorithm, and still generate different backend codes. We illustrate the effectiveness of our proposal by auto-generating codes for vertex-based versus edge-based graph processing, synchronous versus asynchronous execution, and CPU versus GPU backends from the same specification.

Automated test generation for OpenCL kernels using fuzzing and constraint solving

Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are massively parallel processors offering performance acceleration and energy efficiency unmatched by current processors (CPUs) in computers. These advantages along with recent advances in the programmability of GPUs have made them attractive for general-purpose computations. Despite the advances in programmability, GPU kernels are hard to code and analyse due to the high complexity of memory sharing patterns, striding patterns for memory accesses, implicit synchronisation, and combinatorial explosion of thread interleavings. Existing few techniques for testing GPU kernels use symbolic execution for test generation that incur a high overhead, have limited scalability and do not handle all data types.

We propose a test generation technique for OpenCL kernels that combines mutation-based fuzzing and selective constraint solving with the goal of being fast, effective and scalable. Fuzz testing for GPU kernels has not been explored previously. Our approach for fuzz testing randomly mutates input kernel argument values with the goal of increasing branch coverage. When fuzz testing is unable to increase branch coverage with random mutations, we gather path constraints for uncovered branch conditions and invoke the Z3 constraint solver to generate tests for them.

In addition to the test generator, we also present a schedule amplifier that simulates multiple work-group schedules, with which to execute each of the generated tests. The schedule amplifier is designed to help uncover inter work-group data races. We evaluate the effectiveness of the generated tests and schedule amplifier using 217 kernels from open source projects and industry standard benchmark suites measuring branch coverage and fault finding. We find our test generation technique achieves close to 100% coverage and mutation score for majority of the kernels. Overhead incurred in test generation is small (average of 0.8 seconds). We also confirmed our technique scales easily to large kernels, and can support all OpenCL data types, including complex data structures.