Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Software and Platforms


Keywords: Runtime system - Task-based algorithm - Dense linear algebra - HPC - Task scheduling

Scientific Description: Chameleon is part of the MORSE (Matrices Over Runtime Systems @ Exascale) project. The overall objective is to develop robust linear algebra libraries relying on innovative runtime systems that can fully benefit from the potential of those future large-scale complex machines.

We expect advances in three directions based first on strong and closed interactions between the runtime and numerical linear algebra communities. This initial activity will then naturally expand to more focused but still joint research in both fields.

1. Fine interaction between linear algebra and runtime systems. On parallel machines, HPC applications need to take care of data movement and consistency, which can be either explicitly managed at the level of the application itself or delegated to a runtime system. We adopt the latter approach in order to better keep up with hardware trends whose complexity is growing exponentially. One major task in this project is to define a proper interface between HPC applications and runtime systems in order to maximize productivity and expressivity. As mentioned in the next section, a widely used approach consists in abstracting the application as a DAG that the runtime system is in charge of scheduling. Scheduling such a DAG over a set of heterogeneous processing units introduces a lot of new challenges, such as predicting accurately the execution time of each type of task over each kind of unit, minimizing data transfers between memory banks, performing data prefetching, etc. Expected advances: In a nutshell, a new runtime system API will be designed to allow applications to provide scheduling hints to the runtime system and to get real-time feedback about the consequences of scheduling decisions.

2. Runtime systems. A runtime environment is an intermediate layer between the system and the application. It provides low-level functionality not provided by the system (such as scheduling or management of the heterogeneity) and high-level features (such as performance portability). In the framework of this proposal, we will work on the scalability of runtime environment. To achieve scalability it is required to avoid all centralization. Here, the main problem is the scheduling of the tasks. In many task-based runtime environments the scheduler is centralized and becomes a bottleneck as soon as too many cores are involved. It is therefore required to distribute the scheduling decision or to compute a data distribution that impose the mapping of task using, for instance the so-called “owner-compute” rule. Expected advances: We will design runtime systems that enable an efficient and scalable use of thousands of distributed multicore nodes enhanced with accelerators.

3. Linear algebra. Because of its central position in HPC and of the well understood structure of its algorithms, dense linear algebra has often pioneered new challenges that HPC had to face. Again, dense linear algebra has been in the vanguard of the new era of petascale computing with the design of new algorithms that can efficiently run on a multicore node with GPU accelerators. These algorithms are called “communication-avoiding” since they have been redesigned to limit the amount of communication between processing units (and between the different levels of memory hierarchy). They are expressed through Direct Acyclic Graphs (DAG) of fine-grained tasks that are dynamically scheduled. Expected advances: First, we plan to investigate the impact of these principles in the case of sparse applications (whose algorithms are slightly more complicated but often rely on dense kernels). Furthermore, both in the dense and sparse cases, the scalability on thousands of nodes is still limited, new numerical approaches need to be found. We will specifically design sparse hybrid direct/iterative methods that represent a promising approach.

Overall end point. The overall goal of the MORSE associate team is to enable advanced numerical algorithms to be executed on a scalable unified runtime system for exploiting the full potential of future exascale machines.

Functional Description: Chameleon is a dense linear algebra software relying on sequential task-based algorithms where sub-tasks of the overall algorithms are submitted to a Runtime system. A Runtime system such as StarPU is able to manage automatically data transfers between not shared memory area (CPUs-GPUs, distributed nodes). This kind of implementation paradigm allows to design high performing linear algebra algorithms on very different type of architecture: laptop, many-core nodes, CPUs-GPUs, multiple nodes. For example, Chameleon is able to perform a Cholesky factorization (double-precision) at 80 TFlop/s on a dense matrix of order 400 000 (i.e. 4 min 30 s).

Release Functional Description: Chameleon includes the following features:

- BLAS 3, LAPACK one-sided and LAPACK norms tile algorithms - Support QUARK and StarPU runtime systems and PaRSEC since 2018 - Exploitation of homogeneous and heterogeneous platforms through the use of BLAS/LAPACK CPU kernels and cuBLAS/MAGMA CUDA kernels - Exploitation of clusters of interconnected nodes with distributed memory (using OpenMPI)