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Accelerating High-Order Stencils on GPUs

Ryuichi Sai, John Mellor-Crummey, Xiaozhu Meng, Mauricio Araya-Polo, Jie Meng
Department of Computer Science, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA
arXiv:2009.04619 [cs.DC], (10 Sep 2020)

@misc{sai2020accelerating,

   title={Accelerating High-Order Stencils on GPUs},

   author={Ryuichi Sai and John Mellor-Crummey and Xiaozhu Meng and Mauricio Araya-Polo and Jie Meng},

   year={2020},

   eprint={2009.04619},

   archivePrefix={arXiv},

   primaryClass={cs.DC}

}

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Stencil computations are widely used in HPC applications. Today, many HPC platforms use GPUs as accelerators. As a result, understanding how to perform stencil computations fast on GPUs is important. While implementation strategies for low-order stencils on GPUs have been well-studied in the literature, not all of proposed enhancements work well for high-order stencils, such as those used for seismic modeling. Furthermore, coping with boundary conditions often requires different computational logic, which complicates efficient exploitation of the thread-level parallelism on GPUs. In this paper, we study high-order stencils and their unique characteristics on GPUs. We manually crafted a collection of implementations of a 25-point seismic modeling stencil in CUDA and related boundary conditions. We evaluate their code shapes, memory hierarchy usage, data-fetching patterns, and other performance attributes. We conducted an empirical evaluation of these stencils using several mature and emerging tools and discuss our quantitative findings. Among our implementations, we achieve twice the performance of a proprietary code developed in C and mapped to GPUs using OpenACC. Additionally, several of our implementations have excellent performance portability.
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