A Systematic Methodology for Evaluating the Error Resilience of GPGPU Applications

Bo Fang, Karthik Pattabiraman, Matei Ripeanu and Sudhanva Gurumurthi, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS), 2016. [ PDF ]

This paper supercedes our conference paper.

Abstract: The wide adoption of graphics processing units (GPUs) as accelerators for general-purpose applications makes the end-to-end reliability implications of their use increasingly significant. Fault injection is a widely adopted method to evaluate the resilience of applications. However, building a fault injector for general-purpose GPU applications is challenging due to their massive parallelism, which makes it difficult to achieve representativeness while being time-efficient.

This paper makes four key contributions. First, it presents a fault-injection methodology to evaluate the end-to-end reliability properties of application kernels running on GPUs. Second, it introduces GPU-Qin, a fault-injection tool that uses real GPU hardware and offers a tunable and efficient balance between the representativeness and the cost of a fault-injection campaign. Third, it characterizes the error resilience characteristics of seventeen application kernels. Finally, it provides preliminary insights on correlations between the algorithmic properties of applications and their error resilience.

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