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The Liberty Research Group

Parallelization Project

Automatically Exploiting Cross-Invocation Parallelism Using Runtime Information [abstract] (PDF)
Jialuh Huang
Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Computer Science, Princeton University, September 2013.

Automatic parallelization is a promising approach to producing scalable multi-threaded programs for multi-core architectures. Most existing techniques parallelize independent loops and insert global synchronizations at the end of each loop invocation. For programs with few loop invocations, these global synchronizations do not limit parallel execution performance. However, for programs with many loop invocations, those synchronizations can easily become the performance bottleneck since they frequently force all threads to wait, losing potential parallelization opportunities. To address this problem, some automatic parallelization techniques apply static analyses to enable cross-invocation parallelization. Instead of waiting, threads can execute iterations from follow-up invocations if they do not cause any conflict. However, static analysis must be conservative and cannot handle irregular dependence patterns manifested by particular program inputs at runtime.

In order to enable more parallelization across loop invocations, this thesis presents two novel automatic parallelization techniques: DOMORE and SpecCross. Unlike existing techniques relying on static analyses, these two techniques take advantage of runtime information to achieve much more aggressive parallelization. DOMORE constructs a custom runtime engine which non-speculatively observes dependences at runtime and synchronizes iterations only when necessary; while SpecCross applies software speculative barriers to permit some of the threads to execute past the invocation boundaries. The two techniques are complimentary in the sense that they can parallelize programs with potentially very different characteristics. SpecCross, with less runtime overhead, works best when programs' cross-invocation dependences seldom cause any runtime conflict. DOMORE, on the other hand, has its advantage in handling dependences which cause frequent conflicts. Evaluating implementations of DOMORE and SpecCross demonstrates that both techniques can achieve much better scalability compared to existing automatic parallelization techniques.