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Using graphics processors for high performance IR query processing

Shuai Ding, Jinru He, Hao Yan, Torsten Suel
Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Brooklyn, NY, USA
In WWW ’09: Proceedings of the 18th international conference on World wide web (2009), pp. 421-430.

@conference{ding2009using,

   title={Using graphics processors for high performance IR query processing},

   author={Ding, S. and He, J. and Yan, H. and Suel, T.},

   booktitle={Proceedings of the 18th international conference on World wide web},

   pages={421–430},

   year={2009},

   organization={ACM}

}

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Web search engines are facing formidable performance challenges due to data sizes and query loads. The major engines have to process tens of thousands of queries per second over tens of billions of documents. To deal with this heavy workload, such engines employ massively parallel systems consisting of thousands of machines. The significant cost of operating these systems has motivated a lot of recent research into more efficient query processing mechanisms. We investigate a new way to build such high performance IR systems using graphical processing units (GPUs). GPUs were originally designed to accelerate computer graphics applications through massive on-chip parallelism. Recently a number of researchers have studied how to use GPUs for other problem domains such as databases and scientific computing. Our contribution here is to design a basic system architecture for GPU-based high-performance IR, to develop suitable algorithms for subtasks such as inverted list compression, list intersection, and top-$k$ scoring, and to show how to achieve highly efficient query processing on GPU-based systems. Our experimental results for a prototype GPU-based system on $25.2$ million web pages indicate that significant gains in query processing performance can be obtained.
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