The GraphGrind Framework: Fast Graph Analytics on Large Shared-Memory Systems (PhD Thesis)

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Author: Jiawen Sun,

As shared memory systems support terabyte-sized main memory, they provide an opportunity to perform efficient graph analytics on a single machine. Graph analytics is characterised by frequent synchronisation, which is addressed in part by shared memory systems. However, performance is limited by load imbalance and poor memory locality, which originate in the irregular structure of small-world graphs.
This dissertation demonstrates how graph partitioning can be used to optimise (i) load balance, (ii) Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) locality and (iii) temporal locality of graph partitioning in shared memory systems. The developed techniques are implemented in GraphGrind, a new shared memory graph analytics framework.

At first, this dissertation shows that heuristic edge-balanced partitioning results in an imbalance in the number of vertices per partition. Thus, load imbalance exists between partitions, either for loops iterating over vertices, or for loops iterating over edges. To address this issue, this dissertation introduces a classification of algorithms to distinguish whether they algorithmically benefit from edge-balanced or vertex-balanced partitioning. This classification supports the adaptation of partitions to the characteristics of graph algorithms. Evaluation in GraphGrind, shows that this outperforms state-of-the-art graph analytics frameworks for shared memory including Ligra by 1.46x on average, and Polymer by 1.16x on average, using a variety of graph algorithms and datasets.

Secondly, this dissertation demonstrates that increasing the number of graph partitions is effective to improve temporal locality due to smaller working sets.
However, the increasing number of partitions results in vertex replication in some graph data structures. This dissertation resorts to using a graph layout that is immune to vertex replication and an automatic graph traversal algorithm that extends the previously established graph traversal heuristics to a 3-way graph layout choice is designed. This new algorithm furthermore depends upon the classification of graph algorithms introduced in the first part of the work. These techniques achieve an average speedup of 1.79x over Ligra and 1.42x over Polymer.

Finally, this dissertation presents a graph ordering algorithm to challenge the widely accepted heuristic to balance the number of edges per partition and minimise edge or vertex cut. This algorithm balances the number of edges per partition as well as the number of unique destinations of those edges. It balances edges and vertices for graphs with a power-law degree distribution. Moreover, this dissertation shows that the performance of graph ordering depends upon the characteristics of graph analytics frameworks, such as NUMA-awareness. This graph ordering algorithm achieves an average speedup of 1.87x over Ligra and 1.51x over Polymer.

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