Bilkent University
Department of Computer Engineering


Reducing Communication Through Computational Redundancy in Parallel Iterative Solvers


Fahreddin Şükrü Torun
MSc Student
Computer Engineering Department
Bilkent University

Sparse matrix vector multiplication (SpMxV) of the form y = Ax is a kernel operation in iterative solvers used in scientific applications. In these solvers, the SpMxV operation is performed repeatedly with the same sparse matrix through iterations until convergence. Depending on the matrix and its decomposition, parallel SpMxV operation necessitates communication among processors in the parallel environment. The communication can be reduced by intelligent decomposition. However, we can further decrease the communication through data replication and redundant computation. The communication occurs due to the transfer of x-vector entries in row-parallel SpMxV computation. The input vector x of the next iteration is computed from the output vector of the current iteration through linear vector operations. Hence, a processor may compute a y-vector entry redundantly, which leads to a x-vector entry in the following iteration, instead of receiving that x-vector entry from another processor. Thus, redundant computation of that y-vector entry may lead to reduction in communication.

In this thesis, we devise a directed-graph-based model that correctly captures the computation and communication pattern for above-mentioned iterative solvers. Moreover, we formulate the communication minimization due to redundant computation of y-vector entries as a combinatorial problem on this directed graph model. We propose two heuristics to solve this combinatorial problem. Experimental results indicate that the communication reducing strategy by redundantly computing is promising.


DATE: 9 September, 2011, Friday @ 10:00