Section: Research Program


Participants : Pierre-François Dutot, Guillaume Huard, Grégory Mounié, Jean-Louis Roch, Denis Trystram, Frédéric Wagner.

The goal of this theme is to determine adequate multi-criteria objectives which are efficient (precision, reactivity, speed) and to study scheduling algorithms to reach these objectives.

In the context of parallel and distributed processing, the term scheduling is used with many acceptations. In general, scheduling means assigning tasks of a program (or processes) to the various components of a system (processors, communication links).

Researchers within MOAIS have been working on this subject for many years. They are known for their multiple contributions for determining the target dates and processors the tasks of a parallel program should be executed; especially regarding execution models (taking into account inter-task communications or any other system features) and the design of efficient algorithms (for which there exists a performance guarantee relative to the optimal scheduling).

Parallel tasks model and extensions. We have contributed to the definition and promotion of modern task models: parallel moldable tasks and divisible load. For both models, we have developed new techniques to derive efficient scheduling algorithms (with a good performance guaranty). We proposed recently some extensions taking into account machine unavailabilities (reservations).

Multi-objective Optimization. A natural question while designing practical scheduling algorithms is "which criterion should be optimized ?". Most existing works have been developed for minimizing the makespan (time of the latest tasks to be executed). This objective corresponds to a system administrator view who wants to be able to complete all the waiting jobs as soon as possible. The user, from his-her point of view, would be more interested in minimizing the average of the completion times (called minsum) of the whole set of submitted jobs. There exist several other objectives which may be pertinent for specific use. We worked on the problem of designing scheduling algorithms that optimize simultaneously several objectives with a theoretical guarantee on each objective. The main issue is that most of the policies are good for one criterion but bad for another one.

We have proposed an algorithm that is guaranteed for both makespan and minsum. This algorithm has been implemented for managing the resources of a cluster of the regional grid CIMENT. More recently, we extended such analysis to other objectives (makespan and reliability). We concentrate now on finding good algorithms able to schedule a set of jobs with a large variety of objectives simultaneously. For hard problems, we propose approximation of Pareto curves (best compromizes).

Incertainties. Most of the new execution supports are characterized by a higher complexity in predicting the parameters (high versatility in desktop grids, machine crash, communication congestion, cache effects, etc.). We studied some time ago the impact of incertainties on the scheduling algorithms. There are several ways for dealing with this problem: First, it is possible to design robust algorithms that can optimized a problem over a set of scenarii, another solution is to design flexible algorithms. Finally, we promote semi on-line approaches that start from an optimized off-line solution computed on an initial data set and updated during the execution on the "perturbed" data (stability analysis).

Game Theory. Game Theory is a framework that can be used for obtaining good solution of both previous problems (multi-objective optimization and incertain data). On the first hand, it can be used as a complement of multi-objective analysis. On the other hand, it can take into account the incertainties. We are curently working at formalizing the concept of cooperation.

Scheduling for optimizing parallel time and memory space. It is well known that parallel time and memory space are two antagonists criteria. However, for many scientific computations, the use of parallel architectures is motivated by increasing both the computation power and the memory space. Also, scheduling for optimizing both parallel time and memory space targets an important multicriteria objective. Based on the analysis of the dataflow related to the execution, we have proposed a scheduling algorithm with provable performance.

Coarse-grain scheduling of fine grain multithreaded computations on heterogeneous platforms. Designing multi-objective scheduling algorithms is a transversal problem. Work-stealing scheduling is well studied for fine grain multithreaded computations with a small critical time: the speed-up is asymptotically optimal. However, since the number of tasks to manage is huge, the control of the scheduling is expensive. We proposed a generalized lock-free cactus stack execution mechanism, to extend previous results, mainly from Cilk, based on the work-first principle for strict multi-threaded computations on SMPs to general multithreaded computations with dataflow dependencies. The main result is that optimizing the sequential local executions of tasks enables to amortize the overhead of scheduling. This distributed work-stealing scheduling algorithm has been implemented in Kaapi.