Title page for ETD etd-04192011-164932

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Stark, Dylan Thomas
Author's Email Address dstark@cct.lsu.edu
URN etd-04192011-164932
Title Advanced Semantics for Accelerated Graph Processing
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Computer Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Sterling, Thomas Committee Chair
Baumgartner, Gerald Committee Member
Chen, Jianhua Committee Member
Oporowski, Bogdan Committee Member
Ramanujam, J. Committee Member
  • distributed memory
  • concurrency
  • multithreading
  • high performance computing
  • graph processing
Date of Defense 2011-04-13
Availability unrestricted
Large-scale graph applications are of great national, commercial, and societal importance, with direct use in fields such as counter-intelligence, proteomics, and data mining. Unfortunately, graph-based problems exhibit certain basic characteristics that make them a poor match for conventional computing systems in terms of structure, scale, and semantics. Graph processing kernels emphasize sparse data structures and computations with irregular memory access patterns that destroy the temporal and spatial locality upon which modern processors rely for performance. Furthermore, applications in this area utilize large data sets, and have been shown to be more data intensive than typical floating-point applications, two properties that lead to inefficient utilization of the hierarchical memory system. Current approaches to processing large graph data sets leverage traditional HPC systems and programming models, for shared memory and message-passing computation, and are thus limited in efficiency, scalability, and programmability.

The research presented in this thesis investigates the potential of a new model of execution that is hypothesized as a promising alternative for graph-based applications to conventional practices. A new approach to graph processing is developed and presented in this thesis. The application of the experimental ParalleX execution model to graph processing balances continuation-migration style fine-grain concurrency with constraint-based synchronization through embedded futures. A collection of parallel graph application kernels provide experiment control drivers for analysis and evaluation of this innovative strategy. Finally, an experimental software library for scalable graph processing, the ParalleX Graph Library, is defined using the HPX runtime system, providing an implementation of the key concepts and a framework for development of ParalleX-based graph applications.

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