The Landscape of GPGPU Performance Modeling Tools

Research paper by Souley Madougou, Ana Varbanescu, Cees de Laat, Rob van Nieuwpoort

Indexed on: 06 Apr '16Published on: 06 Apr '16Published in: Parallel Computing


GPUs are gaining fast adoption as high-performance computing architectures, mainly because of their impressive peak performance. Yet most applications only achieve small fractions of this performance. While both programmers and architects have clear opinions about the causes of this performance gap, finding and quantifying the real problems remains a topic for performance modeling tools. In this paper, we sketch the landscape of modern GPUs’ performance limiters and optimization opportunities, and dive into details on modeling attempts for GPU-based systems. We highlight the specific features of the relevant contributions in this field, along with the optimization and design spaces they explore. We further use typical kernel examples with various computation and memory access patterns to assess the efficacy and usability of a set of promising approaches. We conclude that the available GPU performance modeling solutions are very sensitive to applications and platform changes, and require significant efforts for tuning and calibration when new analyses are required.

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