Auto-tuning a High-Level Language Targeted to GPU Codes

Scott Grauer-Gray, Lifan Xu, Robert Searles, Sudhee Ayalasomayajula, John Cavazos
Computer and Information Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716
Proceedings of Innovative Parallel Computing (InPar ’12), 2012


   title={Auto-tuning a High-Level Language Targeted to GPU Codes},

   author={Grauer-Gray, S. and Xu, L. and Searles, R. and Ayalasomayajula, S. and Cavazos, J.},



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Determining the best set of optimizations to apply to a kernel to be executed on the graphics processing unit (GPU) is a challenging problem. There are large sets of possible optimization configurations that can be applied, and many applications have multiple kernels. Each kernel may require a specific configuration to achieve the best performance, and moving an application to new hardware often requires a new optimization configuration for each kernel. In this work, we apply optimizations to GPU code using HMPP, a high-level directive-based language and source-to-source compiler that can generate CUDA / OpenCL code. However, programming with high-level languages may mean a loss of performance compared to using low-level languages. Our work shows that it is possible to improve the performance of a high-level language by using auto-tuning. We perform auto-tuning on a large optimization space on GPU kernels, focusing on loop permutation, loop unrolling, tiling, and specifying which loop(s) to parallelize, and show results on convolution kernels, codes in the PolyBench suite, and an implementation of belief propagation for stereo vision. The results show that our auto-tuned HMPP-generated implementations are significantly faster than the default HMPP implementation and can meet or exceed the performance of manually coded CUDA / OpenCL implementations.
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