Optimized Broadcast for Deep Learning Workloads on Dense-GPU InfiniBand Clusters: MPI or NCCL? [article]

Ammar Ahmad Awan, Ching-Hsiang Chu, Hari Subramoni, Dhabaleswar K. Panda
2017 arXiv   pre-print
Dense Multi-GPU systems have recently gained a lot of attention in the HPC arena. Traditionally, MPI runtimes have been primarily designed for clusters with a large number of nodes. However, with the advent of MPI+CUDA applications and CUDA-Aware MPI runtimes like MVAPICH2 and OpenMPI, it has become important to address efficient communication schemes for such dense Multi-GPU nodes. This coupled with new application workloads brought forward by Deep Learning frameworks like Caffe and Microsoft
more » ... NTK pose additional design constraints due to very large message communication of GPU buffers during the training phase. In this context, special-purpose libraries like NVIDIA NCCL have been proposed for GPU-based collective communication on dense GPU systems. In this paper, we propose a pipelined chain (ring) design for the MPI_Bcast collective operation along with an enhanced collective tuning framework in MVAPICH2-GDR that enables efficient intra-/inter-node multi-GPU communication. We present an in-depth performance landscape for the proposed MPI_Bcast schemes along with a comparative analysis of NVIDIA NCCL Broadcast and NCCL-based MPI_Bcast. The proposed designs for MVAPICH2-GDR enable up to 14X and 16.6X improvement, compared to NCCL-based solutions, for intra- and inter-node broadcast latency, respectively. In addition, the proposed designs provide up to 7% improvement over NCCL-based solutions for data parallel training of the VGG network on 128 GPUs using Microsoft CNTK.
arXiv:1707.09414v1 fatcat:lqh3x46v7jcqvkxjdasjxxxqda