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runtime: support parallel cache-oblivious algorithms #9129

dvyukov opened this Issue Nov 19, 2014 · 4 comments


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dvyukov commented Nov 19, 2014

Cache-oblivious algorithms automatically take advantage of all levels of caches present
in the system (register set, L1/L2/L2, disk) by recursively sub-dividing the problem
into smaller parts:

Recursive divide-and-conquer is the working horse of lots of parallel algorithms.

Here is a sample program that does simple O(N^2) computation using 4 methods:
1. sequential naive (iterative)
2. sequential cache-oblivious
3. parallel naive (iterative)
4. parallel cache-oblivious

Results are:

serial sum... 3m0.149312702s (sum=480293945344)
cache oblivious sum... 1m59.191344136s (sum=480293945344)
parallel sum(1)... 2m45.547188918s (sum=480293945344)
parallel sum(2)... 1m29.9953968s (sum=480293945344)
parallel sum(4)... 46.828645173s (sum=480293945344)
parallel sum(8)... 27.005117917s (sum=480293945344)
parallel sum(16)... 13.942930282s (sum=480293945344)
parallel sum(32)... 10.920164632s (sum=480293945344)
cache oblivious parallel sum(1)... 2m32.863516062s (sum=480293945344)
cache oblivious parallel sum(2)... 1m13.964254945s (sum=480293945344)
cache oblivious parallel sum(4)... 43.00664982s (sum=480293945344)
cache oblivious parallel sum(8)... 21.625423811s (sum=480293945344)
cache oblivious parallel sum(16)... 13.566854603s (sum=480293945344)
cache oblivious parallel sum(32)... 9.740402766s (sum=480293945344)

Sequential cache-oblivious algorithm is 33% faster even on this small data set. However,
parallel cache-oblivious version does not show this speedup. The problem is that
parallel cache-oblivious algorithms require LIFO scheduling (or at least as close to
LIFO as possible), but current goroutine scheduler does FIFO. As the result the
algorithm does BFS instead of DFS, this not only breaks cache locality, but also
increases memory consumption from N to 2^N (where N is the depth of the
divide-and-conquer tree).

Currently a user has to make a choice between efficient cache usage or parallelization,
but not both. One way or another we need to support such algorithms.

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RLH commented Nov 19, 2014

Comment 1:

At the end of the day didn't this work end up with a Cilk style work
stealing scheduler that spawned the parent, executed the child, and stole
the oldest parent? Is this what you are proposing?

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dvyukov commented Nov 19, 2014

Comment 2:

Yes, I am proposing to use Cilk-style scheduling for such computations (but preserving
some degree of fairness).

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rsc commented Nov 19, 2014

Comment 3:

It's fine to file bugs for this kind of thing so we remember it, but this is not even
low priority right now. It's zero priority. We have much more important things to fix.
I am going to push back very strongly on structural runtime changes during 1.5 other
than the concurrent GC.

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btracey commented Dec 1, 2014

Comment 4:

I understand that there is a lot going on in 1.5 that merits a moratorium on large
runtime changes. However, please consider leaving some room in the development tree for
such changes (in 1.6, etc.). There are programs whose bottleneck is not GC, and could
benefit from such changes. For example, we would like to implement such matrix-multiply
algorithms in the Go BLAS implementation.

@rsc rsc added this to the Unplanned milestone Apr 10, 2015

@rsc rsc removed release-none labels Apr 10, 2015

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