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A broad class of applications is irregular. Irregular applications present unpredictable memory access patterns, control structures, and/or network transfers. They typically use pointer or linked lists-based data structures such as graphs, unbalanced trees, and unstructured grids. They often present fine-grained synchronization and communication, and generally operate on very large data sets. They have a significant degree of latent parallelism, which is however difficult to fully exploit because of their complex behavior. Beside performance, another significant concern for emerging irregular applications is the size of the datasets. In fact, modern irregular applications operate on massive amounts of data, often unstructured, which are very difficult to partition and easily generate load imbalance.
Current high performance architectures rely on data locality, regular computations, structured data and easily partitionable datasets. They do not cope well with the requirements of these applications. Furthermore, irregular applications are difficult to scale on current supercomputing machines, because of their limits with fine-grained communication and synchronization. Irregular applications pertain both to well established and emerging fields, such as Computer Aided Design (CAD), bioinformatics, semantic graph databases, machine learning, analysis of social, transportation, communication and other types of networks, and computer security. Addressing the issues of these applications on current and future system architectures will become critical to solve the scientific challenges of the next few years.
This special issue seeks to explore solutions for supporting efficient design, development and execution of irregular applications in the form of new features at the level of the micro- and system-architecture, network, languages and libraries, runtimes, compilers, analysis, algorithms. Topics of interest, of both theoretical and practical significance, include but are not limited to:
* Micro- and System-architectures
* Network and memory architectures
* Manycore, hybrid, heterogeneous and custom architectures (Tilera, GPUs, FPGAs)
* Modeling, evaluation and characterization of architectures for memory intensive and irregular applications
* Innovative algorithmic techniques
* Combinatorial (graph) algorithms and their applications
* Parallelization techniques and data structures
* Languages and programming models
* Library and runtime support
* Compiler and analysis techniques
* Case studies of irregular applications (e.g. Semantic Graph Databases, Data Mining, Security, Bioinformatics)
This special issue solicits both novel, unpublished work, and previously published, but significantly extended, approaches.
Submission deadline: March 30 - 2015
First round of reviews and initial notification: June 2015
Revisions and final decisions: August 2015
Publication: November 2015
Antonino Tumeo, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
John T. Feo, Context Relevant
Oreste Villa, NVIDIA Research
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