Performance portability through machine learning guided kernel selection in SYCL libraries

John Lawson
Codeplay Software Ltd.
arXiv:2008.13145 [cs.PF], (30 Aug 2020)


   title={Performance portability through machine learning guided kernel selection in SYCL libraries},

   author={John Lawson},






Automatically tuning parallel compute kernels allows libraries and frameworks to achieve performance on a wide range of hardware, however these techniques are typically focused on finding optimal kernel parameters for particular input sizes and parameters. General purpose compute libraries must be able to cater to all inputs and parameters provided by a user, and so these techniques are of limited use. Additionally, parallel programming frameworks such as SYCL require that the kernels be deployed in a binary format embedded within the library. As such it is impractical to deploy a large number of possible kernel configurations without inflating the library size. Machine learning methods can be used to mitigate against both of these problems and provide performance for general purpose routines with a limited number of kernel configurations. We show that unsupervised clustering methods can be used to select a subset of the possible kernels that should be deployed and that simple classification methods can be trained to select from these kernels at runtime to give good performance. As these techniques are fully automated, relying only on benchmark data, the tuning process for new hardware or problems does not require any developer effort or expertise.
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