Best-Effort Communication Improves Performance and Scales Robustly on Conventional Hardware

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Date November 23rd, 2022
DOI 10.48550/arXiv.2211.10897
Venue arXiv

Here, we test the performance and scalability of fully-asynchronous, best-effort communication on existing, commercially-available HPC hardware.

A first set of experiments tested whether best-effort communication strategies can benefit performance compared to the traditional perfect communication model. At high CPU counts, best-effort communication improved both the number of computational steps executed per unit time and the solution quality achieved within a fixed-duration run window.

Under the best-effort model, characterizing the distribution of quality of service across processing components and over time is critical to understanding the actual computation being performed. Additionally, a complete picture of scalability under the best-effort model requires analysis of how such quality of service fares at scale. To answer these questions, we designed and measured a suite of quality of service metrics: simulation update period, message latency, message delivery failure rate, and message delivery coagulation. Under a lower communication-intensivity benchmark parameterization, we found that median values for all quality of service metrics were stable when scaling from 64 to 256 process. Under maximal communication intensivity, we found only minor – and, in most cases, nil – degradation in median quality of service.

In an additional set of experiments, we tested the effect of an apparently faulty compute node on performance and quality of service. Despite extreme quality of service degradation among that node and its clique, median performance and quality of service remained stable.

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  doi = {10.48550/ARXIV.2211.10897},

  url = {},

  author = {Moreno, Matthew Andres and Ofria, Charles},

  keywords = {Distributed, Parallel, and Cluster Computing (cs.DC), FOS: Computer and information sciences, FOS: Computer and information sciences},

  title = {Best-Effort Communication Improves Performance and Scales Robustly on Conventional Hardware},

  publisher = {arXiv},

  year = {2022},

  copyright = { perpetual, non-exclusive license}
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Moreno, M. A., & Ofria, C. (2022). Best-Effort Communication Improves Performance and Scales Robustly on Conventional Hardware. arXiv preprint arXiv:2211.10897.

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