Efficiently Processing Large Relational Joins on GPUs

Bowen Wu, Dimitrios Koutsoukos, Gustavo Alonso
Systems Group, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
arXiv:2312.00720 [cs.DB], (1 Dec 2023)


   title={Efficiently Processing Large Relational Joins on GPUs},

   author={Bowen Wu and Dimitrios Koutsoukos and Gustavo Alonso},






With the growing interest in Machine Learning (ML), Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) have become key elements of any computing infrastructure. Their widespread deployment in data centers and the cloud raises the question of how to use them beyond ML use cases, with growing interest in employing them in a database context. In this paper, we explore and analyze the implementation of relational joins on GPUs from an end-to-end perspective, meaning that we take result materialization into account. We conduct a comprehensive performance study of state-of-the-art GPU-based join algorithms over diverse synthetic workloads and TPC-H/TPC-DS benchmarks. Without being restricted to the conventional setting where each input relation has only one key and one non-key with all attributes being 4-bytes long, we investigate the effect of various factors (e.g., input sizes, number of non-key columns, skewness, data types, match ratios, and number of joins) on the end-to-end throughput. Furthermore, we propose a technique called "Gather-from-Transformed-Relations" (GFTR) to reduce the long-ignored yet high materialization cost in GPU-based joins. The experimental evaluation shows significant performance improvements from GFTR, with throughput gains of up to 2.3 times over previous work. The insights gained from the performance study not only advance the understanding of GPU-based joins but also introduce a structured approach to selecting the most efficient GPU join algorithm based on the input relation characteristics.
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