Document Type

Technical Report


Computer Science and Engineering

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Technical Report Number



Cache-locality is an important consideration for the performance in multicore systems. In modern and future multicore systems with multilevel cache hierarchies, caches may be arranged in a tree of caches, where a level k cache is shared between Pk processors, called a processor group, and Pk increases with k. In order to get good performance, as much as possible, subcomputations that share more data should execute on processors which share a lower-level cache. Therefore, the number of cache misses in these systems depends on the scheduling decisions, and a scheduler is responsible for not just achieving good load-balance and low overheads, but also good cache complexity. However, these can be competing criteria. In this paper, we explore the tension between these criteria for online hierarchical schedulers. Formally, we consider a system with P processors, arranged in a multilevel hierarchy according to a hierarchy tree, where each of the P processors forms a leaf of the tree, and an internal node at level-k corresponds corresponds to a processor group. In addition, we assume that computations have locality regions, that represent parallel subcomputations that share data. Each locality region has a particular level, and the scheduler must ensure that a level-k locality region is executed by processors in the same level-k processor group, since they share a level k cache. Thus locality regions can improve cache performance. However, they may also impair load-balance and increase scheduling overheads since the scheduler must obey the restrictions posed by locality regions. In this paper, we present a framework of hierarchical computations, that is, computations with locality regions at multiple levels of nesting. We describe the hierarchical greedy scheduler, where each locality region is scheduled using a greedy scheduler which attempts to use as many processors as possible while obeying the restrictions posed by the locality regions. We derive a recurrence for the time complexity for a region in terms of its nested regions. We also describe how a more realistic hierarchical work-stealing scheduler can get the same bounds apart from constant factors for an important subclass of computations called homogenous computations. Finally, we also analyze the cache complexity of the hierarchical work-stealing scheduler for a system with a multilevel cache hierarchy.


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