Date of Award

Winter 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computational Analysis and Modeling

First Advisor

Chokchai Box Leangsuksun


Since Graphics Processing Units (CPUs) have increasingly gained popularity amoung non-graphic and computational applications, known as General-Purpose computation on GPU (GPGPU), CPUs have been deployed in many clusters, including the world's fastest supercomputer. However, to make the most efficiency from a GPU system, one should consider both performance and reliability of the system.

This dissertation makes four major contributions. First, the two-level checkpoint/restart protocol that aims to reduce the checkpoint and recovery costs with a latency hiding strategy in a system between a CPU (Central Processing Unit) and a GPU is proposed. The experimental results and analysis reveals some benefits, especially in a long-running application.

Second, a performance model for estimating GPGPU execution time is proposed. This performance model improves operation cost estimation over existing ones by considering varied memory latencies. The proposed model also considers the effects of thread synchronization functions. In addition, the impacts of various issues in GPGPU programming such as bank conflicts in shared memory and branch divergence are also discussed.

Third, the interplay between GPGPU application performance and system reliability of a large GPU system is explored. This includes a checkpoint scheduling model for a certain GPGPU application. The effects of a checkpoint/restart mechanism on the application performance is also discussed.

Finally, optimization techniques to remedy uncoalesced memory access in GPU's global memory are proposed. These techniques are memory rearrangement using 2-dimensional matrix transpose and 3-dimensional matrix permutation. The analytical results show that the proposed technique can reduce memory access time, especially when the transformed array/matrix is frequently accessed.