GePSeA: A General-Purpose Software Acceleration Framework for Lightweight Task Offloading

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Virginia Tech

Hardware-acceleration techniques continue to be used to boost the performance of scientific codes. To do so, software developers identify portions of these codes that are amenable for offloading and map them to hardware accelerators. However, offloading such tasks to specialized hardware accelerators is non-trivial. Furthermore, these accelerators can add significant cost to a computing system.

Consequently, this thesis proposes a framework called GePSeA (General Purpose Software Acceleration Framework), which uses a small fraction of the computational power on multi-core architectures to offload complex application-specific tasks. Specifically, GePSeA provides a lightweight process that acts as a helper agent to the application by executing application-specific tasks asynchronously and efficiently. GePSeA is not meant to replace hardware accelerators but to extend them. GePSeA provide several utilities called core components that offload tasks on to the core or to the special-purpose hardware when available in a way that is transparent to the application. Examples of such core components include reliable communication service, distributed lock management, global memory management, dynamic load distribution and network protocol processing. We then apply the GePSeA framework to two applications, namely mpiBLAST, an open-source computational biology application and Reliable Blast UDP (RBUDP) based file transfer application. We observe significant speed-up for both applications.

Many-Core, UDP, Accelerators, Multi-Core, Task Offloading