Performance-aware component composition for GPU-based systems

Usman Dastgeer
Linkoping University
Linkoping University, 2014


   title={Performance-aware component composition for GPU-based systems},

   author={Dastgeer, Usman},



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This thesis addresses issues associated with efficiently programming modern heterogeneous GPU-based systems, containing multicore CPUs and one or more programmable Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). We use ideas from component-based programming to address programming, performance and portability issues of these heterogeneous systems. Specifically, we present three approaches that all use the idea of having multiple implementations for each computation; performance is achieved/retained either a) by selecting a suitable implementation for each computation on a given platform or b) by dividing the computation work across different implementations running on CPU and GPU devices in parallel. In the first approach, we work on a skeleton programming library (SkePU) that provides high-level abstraction while making intelligent implementation selection decisions underneath either before or during the actual program execution. In the second approach, we develop a composition tool that parses extra information (metadata) from XML files, makes certain decisions online, and, in the end, generates code for making the final decisions at runtime. The third approach is a framework that uses source-code annotations and program analysis to generate code for the runtime library to make the selection decision at runtime. With a generic performance modeling API alongside program analysis capabilities, it supports online tuning as well as complex program transformations. These approaches differ in terms of genericity, intrusiveness, capabilities and knowledge about the program source-code; however, they all demonstrate usefulness of component programming techniques for programming GPU-based systems. With experimental evaluation, we demonstrate how all three approaches, although different in their own way, provide good performance on different GPU-based systems for a variety of applications.
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