Dense and sparse parallel linear algebra algorithms on graphics processing units

Alejandro Lamas Davina
Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Departamento de Sistemas Informaticos y Computacion, Departament de Sistemes Informatics i Computacio
Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, 2018


   title={Dense and sparse parallel linear algebra algorithms on graphics processing units},

   author={Lamas Davi{~n}a, Alejandro},



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One line of development followed in the field of supercomputing is the use of specific purpose processors to speed up certain types of computations. In this thesis we study the use of graphics processing units as computer accelerators and apply it to the field of linear algebra. In particular, we work with the SLEPc library to solve large-scale eigenvalue problems, and to apply matrix functions in scientific applications. SLEPc is a parallel library based on the MPI standard and is developed with the premise of being scalable, i.e. to allow solving larger problems by increasing the processing units. We address the linear eigenvalue problem, Ax = lambda x in its standard form, using iterative techniques, in particular with Krylov’s methods, with which we calculate a small portion of the eigenvalue spectrum. This type of algorithms is based on generating a subspace of reduced size (m) in which to project the large dimension problem (n), being m << n. Once the problem has been projected, it is solved by direct methods, which provide us with approximations of the eigenvalues of the initial problem we wanted to solve. The operations used in the expansion of the subspace vary depending on whether the desired eigenvalues are from the exterior or from the interior of the spectrum. In the case of searching for exterior eigenvalues, the expansion is done by matrix-vector multiplications. We do this on the GPU, either by using libraries or by creating functions that take advantage of the structure of the matrix. In the case of eigenvalues from the interior of the spectrum, the expansion requires solving linear systems of equations. In this thesis we implemented several algorithms to solve linear systems of equations for the specific case of matrices with a block-tridiagonal structure, that are run on GPU. In the computation of matrix functions we have to distinguish between the direct application of a matrix function, f(A), and the action of a matrix function on a vector, f(A)b. The first case involves a dense computation that limits the size of the problem. The second allows us to work with large sparse matrices, and to solve it we also make use of Krylov’s methods. The expansion of subspace is done by matrixvector multiplication, and we use GPUs in the same way as when solving eigenvalues. In this case the projected problem starts being of size m, but it is increased by m on each restart of the method. The solution of the projected problem is done by directly applying a matrix function. We have implemented several algorithms to compute the square root and the exponential matrix functions, in which the use of GPUs allows us to speed up the computation.
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