Optimizing Memory Efficiency for Convolution Kernels on Kepler GPUs

Xiaoming Chen, Jianxu Chen, Danny Z. Chen, Xiaobo Sharon Hu
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
arXiv:1705.10591 [cs.DC], (29 May 2017)


   title={Optimizing Memory Efficiency for Convolution Kernels on Kepler GPUs},

   author={Chen, Xiaoming and Chen, Jianxu and Chen, Danny Z. and Hu, Xiaobo Sharon},






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Convolution is a fundamental operation in many applications, such as computer vision, natural language processing, image processing, etc. Recent successes of convolutional neural networks in various deep learning applications put even higher demand on fast convolution. The high computation throughput and memory bandwidth of graphics processing units (GPUs) make GPUs a natural choice for accelerating convolution operations. However, maximally exploiting the available memory bandwidth of GPUs for convolution is a challenging task. This paper introduces a general model to address the mismatch between the memory bank width of GPUs and computation data width of threads. Based on this model, we develop two convolution kernels, one for the general case and the other for a special case with one input channel. By carefully optimizing memory access patterns and computation patterns, we design a communication-optimized kernel for the special case and a communication-reduced kernel for the general case. Experimental data based on implementations on Kepler GPUs show that our kernels achieve 5.16X and 35.5% average performance improvement over the latest cuDNN library, for the special case and the general case, respectively.
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