High-Throughput Transaction Executions on Graphics Processors

Bingsheng He, Jeffrey Xu Yu
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
VLDB2011; Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment (PVLDB), Vol. 4, No. 5, pp. 314-325 (2011)


   author={He}, B. and {Yu}, J.~X.},

   title={“{High-Throughput Transaction Executions on Graphics Processors}”},

   journal={ArXiv e-prints},




   keywords={Computer Science – Databases, Computer Science – Distributed, Parallel, and Cluster Computing},




   adsnote={Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System}


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OLTP (On-Line Transaction Processing) is an important business system sector in various traditional and emerging online services. Due to the increasing number of users, OLTP systems require high throughput for executing tens of thousands of transactions in a short time period. Encouraged by the recent success of GPGPU (General-Purpose computation on Graphics Processors), we propose GPUTx, an OLTP engine performing high-throughput transaction executions on the GPU for in-memory databases. Compared with existing GPGPU studies usually optimizing a single task, transaction executions require handling many small tasks concurrently. Specifically, we propose the bulk execution model to group multiple transactions into a bulk and to execute the bulk on the GPU as a single task. The transactions within the bulk are executed concurrently on the GPU. We study three basic execution strategies (one with locks and the other two lock-free), and optimize them with the GPU features including the hardware support of atomic operations, the massive thread parallelism and the SPMD (Single Program Multiple Data) execution. We evaluate GPUTx on a recent NVIDIA GPU in comparison with its counterpart on a quad-core CPU. Our experimental results show that optimizations on GPUTx significantly improve the throughput, and the optimized GPUTx achieves 4-10 times higher throughput than its CPU-based counterpart on public transaction processing benchmarks.
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