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Hybrid algorithms for efficient Cholesky decomposition and matrix inverse using multicore CPUs with GPU accelerators

Gary Macindoe
University College London
University College London, 2013

@phdthesis{macindoe2013hybrid,

   title={Hybrid algorithms for efficient Cholesky decomposition and matrix inverse using multicore CPUs with GPU accelerators},

   author={Macindoe, GI},

   year={2013},

   school={UCL (University College London)}

}

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The use of linear algebra routines is fundamental to many areas of computational science, yet their implementation in software still forms the main computational bottleneck in many widely used algorithms. In machine learning and computational statistics, for example, the use of Gaussian distributions is ubiquitous, and routines for calculating the Cholesky decomposition, matrix inverse and matrix determinant must often be called many thousands of times for common algorithms, such as Markov chain Monte Carlo. These linear algebra routines consume most of the total computational time of a wide range of statistical methods, and any improvements in this area will therefore greatly increase the overall efficiency of algorithms used in many scientific application areas. The importance of linear algebra algorithms is clear from the substantial effort that has been invested over the last 25 years in producing low-level software libraries such as LAPACK, which generally optimise these linear algebra routines by breaking up a large problem into smaller problems that may be computed independently. The performance of such libraries is however strongly dependent on the specific hardware available. LAPACK was originally developed for single core processors with a memory hierarchy, whereas modern day computers often consist of mixed architectures, with large numbers of parallel cores and graphics processing units (GPU) being used alongside traditional CPUs. The challenge lies in making optimal use of these different types of computing units, which generally have very different processor speeds and types of memory. In this thesis we develop novel low-level algorithms that may be generally employed in blocked linear algebra routines, which automatically optimise themselves to take full advantage of the variety of heterogeneous architectures that may be available. We present a comparison of our methods with MAGMA, the state of the art open source implementation of LAPACK designed specifically for hybrid architectures, and demonstrate up to 400% increase in speed that may be obtained using our novel algorithms, specifically when running commonly used Cholesky matrix decomposition, matrix inverse and matrix determinant routines.
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