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Scalable Kernel Fusion for Memory-Bound GPU Applications

Mohamed Wahib and Naoya Maruyama
RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, Kobe, Japan
Proceedings of the 2014 ACM/IEEE International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC’14), November 16-21, 2014, New Orleans

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GPU implementations of HPC applications relying on finite difference methods can include tens of kernels that are memory-bound. Kernel fusion can improve performance by reducing data traffic to off-chip memory; kernels that share data arrays are fused to larger kernels where on-chip cache is used to hold the data reused by instructions originating from different kernels. The main challenges are a) searching for the optimal kernel fusions while constrained by data dependencies and kernels’ precedences and b) effectively applying kernel fusion to achieve speedup. This paper introduces a problem definition and proposes a scalable method for searching the space of possible kernel fusions to identify optimal kernel fusions for large problems. The paper also proposes a codeless performance upper-bound projection model to achieve effective fusions. Results show that using the proposed scalable method for kernel fusion improved the performance of two real-world applications containing tens of kernels by 1.35x and 1.2x.
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