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Whippletree: Task-based Scheduling of Dynamic Workloads on the GPU

Markus Steinberger, Michael Kenzel, Pedro Boechat, Bernhard Kerbl, Mark Dokter, Dieter Schmalstieg
Graz University of Technology, Austria
Graz University of Technology, 2014

@article{steinberger2014whippletree,

   title={Whippletree: Task-based Scheduling of Dynamic Workloads on the GPU},

   author={Steinberger, Markus and Kenzel, Michael and Boechat, Pedro and Kerbl, Bernhard and Dokter, Mark and Schmalstieg, Dieter},

   year={2014}

}

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In this paper, we present Whippletree, a novel approach to scheduling dynamic, irregular workloads on the GPU. We introduce a new programming model which offers the simplicity and expressiveness of task-based parallelism while retaining all aspects of the multilevel execution hierarchy essential to unlocking the full potential of a modern GPU. At the same time, our programming model lends itself to efficient implementation on the SIMD-based architecture typical of a current GPU. We demonstrate the practical utility of our model by providing a reference implementation on top of current CUDA hardware. Furthermore, we show that our model compares favorably to traditional approaches in terms of both performance as well as the range of applications that can be covered. We demonstrate the benefits of our model for recursive Reyes rendering, procedural geometry generation and volume rendering with concurrent irradiance caching.
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