Publications / Conference Paper

Performance Portability of an SpMV Kernel Across Scientific Computing and Data Science Applications

Olivier, Stephen L.; Ellingwood, Nathan D.; Berry, Jonathan W.; Dunlavy, Daniel D.

Both the data science and scientific computing communities are embracing GPU acceleration for their most demanding workloads. For scientific computing applications, the massive volume of code and diversity of hardware platforms at supercomputing centers has motivated a strong effort toward performance portability. This property of a program, denoting its ability to perform well on multiple architectures and varied datasets, is heavily dependent on the choice of parallel programming model and which features of the programming model are used. In this paper, we evaluate performance portability in the context of a data science workload in contrast to a scientific computing workload, evaluating the same sparse matrix kernel on both. Among our implementations of the kernel in different performance-portable programming models, we find that many struggle to consistently achieve performance improvements using the GPU compared to simple one-line OpenMP parallelization on high-end multicore CPUs. We show one that does, and its performance approaches and sometimes even matches that of vendor-provided GPU math libraries.