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Team Members LBNL, Rice U., UC Berkeley, UT Austin, LLNL, NCSU
PI Katherine Yelick (LBNL))
Co-PIs Vivek Sarkar (Rice U.), James Demmel (UC Berkeley), Mattan Erez (UT Austin), Dan Quinlan (LLNL)
Website DEGAS
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Dynamic Exascale Global Address Space or DEGAS

Team Members

Project Impact


Mission Statement: To ensure the broad success of Exascale systems through a unified programming model that is productive, scalable, portable, and interoperable, and meets the unique Exascale demands of energy efficiency and resilience.


Goals & Objectives

  • Scalability: Billion‐way concurrency, thousand‐way on chip with new architectures
  • Programmability: Convenient programming through a global address space and high‐level abstractions for parallelism, data movement and resilience
  • Performance Portability: Ensure applications can be moved across diverse machines using implicit (automatic) compiler optimizations and runtime adaptation
  • Resilience: Integrated language support for capturing state and recovering from faults
  • Energy Efficiency: Avoid communication, which will dominate energy costs, and adapt to performance heterogeneity due to system-­‐level energy management
  • Interoperability: Encourage use of languages and features through incremental adoption

Programming Models

Two Distinct Parallel Programming Questions

  • What is the parallel control model?


  • What is the model for sharing/communication?


Applications Drive New Programming Models


  • Message Passing Programming
    • Divide up domain in pieces
    • Compute one piece and exchange
    • MPI and many libraries


  • Global Address Space Programming
    • Each start computing
    • Grab whatever/whenever
    • UPC, CAF, X10, Chapel, Fortress, Titanium, GlobalArrays

Hierarchical Programming Model

  • Goal: Programmability of exascale applications while providing scalability, locality, energy efficiency, resilience, and portability
    • Implicit constructs: parallel multidimensional loops, global distributed data structures, adaptation for performance heterogeneity
    • Explicit constructs: asynchronous tasks, phaser synchronization, locality
  • Built on scalability, performance, and asynchrony of PGAS models
    • Language experience from UPC, Habanero‐C, Co‐Array Fortran, Titanium
  • Both intra and inter‐node; focus is on node model
  • Languages demonstrate DEGAS programming model
    • Habanero‐UPC: Habanero’s intra‐node model with UPC’s inter‐node model
    • Hierarchical Co‐Array Fortran (CAF): CAF for on‐chip scaling and more
    • Exploration of high level languages: E.g., Python extended with H‐PGAS
  • Language‐independent H‐PGAS Features:
    • Hierarchical distributed arrays, asynchronous tasks, and compiler specialization for hybrid (task/loop) parallelism and heterogeneity
    • Semantic guarantees for deadlock avoidance, determinism, etc.
    • Asynchronous collectives, function shipping, and hierarchical places
    • End‐to‐end support for asynchrony (messaging, tasking, bandwidth utilization through concurrency)
    • Early concept exploration for applications and benchmarks

Communication-Avoiding Compilers

  • Goal: massive parallelism, deep memory and network hierarchies, plus functional and performance heterogeneity
    • Fine‐grained task and data parallelism: enable performance portability
    • Heterogeneity: guided by functional, energy and performance characteristics
    • Energy efficiency: minimize data movement and hooks to runtime adaptation
    • Programmability: manage details of memory, heterogeneity, and containment
    • Scalability: communication and synchronization hiding through asynchrony
  • H-PGAS into the Node
    • Communication is all data movement
  • Build on code‐generation infrastructure
    • ROSE for H‐CAF and Communication‐Avoidance optimizations
    • BUPC and Habanero‐C; Zoltan
    • Additional theory of CA code generation

Exascale Programming: Support for Future Algorithms


  • Approach: “Rethink” algorithms to optimize for data movement
    • New class of communication‐optimal algorithms
    • Most codes are not bandwidth limited, but many should be
  • Challenges: How general are these algorithms?
    • Can they be automated and for what types of loops?
    • How much benefit is there in practice?

Adaptive Runtime Systems (ARTS)

  • Goal: Adaptive runtime for manycore systems that are hierarchical, heterogeneous and provide asymmetric performance
    • Reactive and proactive control: for utilization and energy efficiency
    • Integrated tasking and communication: for hybrid programming
    • Sharing of hardware threads: required for library interoperability
  • Novelty: Scalable control; integrated tasking with communication
    • Adaptation: Runtime annotated with performance history/intentions
    • Performance models: Guide runtime optimizations, specialization
    • Hierarchical: Resource/energy
    • Tunable control: Locality/load balance
  • Leverages: Existing runtimes
    • Lithe scheduler composition; Juggle
    • BUPC and Habanero‐C runtimes

Synchronization Avoidance vs Resource Management


  • Management of critical resources will be more important:
    • Memory and network bandwidth limited by cost and energy
    • Capacity limited at many levels: network buffers at interfaces, internal network congestion are real and growing problems
  • Can runtimes manage these or do users need to help?
    • Adaptation based on history and (user‐supplied) intent?
    • Where will bottlenecks be for a given architecture and application?

Lith Scheduling Abstraction: "Harts" (Hardware Threads)


Lightweight Communication (GASNet-EX)

  • Goal: Maximize bandwidth use with lightweight communication
    • One‐sided communication: to avoid over‐synchronization
    • Active‐Messages: for productivity and portability
    • Interoperability: with MPI and threading layers
  • Novelty:
    • Congestion management: for 1‐sided communication with ARTS
    • Hierarchical: communication management for H‐PGAS
    • Resilience: globally consist states and fine‐grained fault recovery
    • Progress: new models for scalability and interoperatbility
  • Leverage GASNet (redesigned):
    • Major changes for on‐chip interconnects
    • Each network has unique opportunities

Resilience through Containment Domains

  • Goal: Provide a resilient runtime for PGAS applications
    • Applications should be able to customize resilience to their needs
    • Resilient runtime that provides easy‐to‐use mechanisms
  • Novelty: Single analyzable abstraction for resilience
    • PGAS Resilience consistency model
    • Directed and hierarchical preservation
    • Global or localized recovery
    • Algorithm and system‐specific detection, elision, and recovery
  • Leverage: Combined superset of prior approaches
    • Fast checkpoints for large bulk updates
    • Journal for small frequent updates
    • Hierarchical checkpoint‐restart
    • OS‐level save and restore
    • Distributed recovery

Resilience: Research Questions

1. How to define consistent (i.e. allowable) states in the PGAS model?

  • Theory well understood for fail‐stop message‐passing, but not PGAS.

2. How do we discover consistent states once we've defined them?

  • Containment domains offer a new approach, beyond conventional sync-and‐stop algorithms.

3. How do we reconstruct consistent states after a failure?

  • Explore low overhead techniques that minimize effort required by applications programmers.
  • Leverage BLCR, GASnet, Berkeley UPC for development, and use Containment Domains as prototype API for requirements discovery


Energy and Performance Feedback

  • Goal: Monitoring and feedback of performance and energy for online and offline optimization
    • Collect and distill: performance/energy/timing data
    • Identify and report bottlenecks: through summarization/visualization
    • Provide mechanisms: for autonomous runtime adaptation
  • Novelty: Automated runtime introspection
    • Provide monitoring: power/network utilization
    • Machine Learning: identify common characteristics
    • Resource management: including dark silicon
  • Leverage: Performance/energy counters
    • Integrated Performance Monitoring (IPM)
    • Roofline formalism
    • Performance/energy counters

Software Stack


DEGAS Pieces of the Puzzle


Products from DEGAS research (as of 04/2016)

Software Releases