GraphR: Accelerating Graph Processing Using ReRAM

TitleGraphR: Accelerating Graph Processing Using ReRAM
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsL Song, Y Zhuo, X Qian, H Li, and Y Chen
Conference NameProceedings International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture
Date Published03/2018

Graph processing recently received intensive interests in light of a wide range of needs to understand relationships. It is well-known for the poor locality and high memory bandwidth requirement. In conventional architectures, they incur a significant amount of data movements and energy consumption which motivates several hardware graph processing accelerators. The current graph processing accelerators rely on memory access optimizations or placing computation logics close to memory. Distinct from all existing approaches, we leverage an emerging memory technology to accelerate graph processing with analog computation. This paper presents GRAPHR, the first ReRAM-based graph processing accelerator. GRAPHR follows the principle of near-data processing and explores the opportunity of performing massive parallel analog operations with low hardware and energy cost. The analog computation is suitable for graph processing because: 1) The algorithms are iterative and could inherently tolerate the imprecision; 2) Both probability calculation (e.g., PageRank and Collaborative Filtering) and typical graph algorithms involving integers (e.g., BFS/SSSP) are resilient to errors. The key insight of GRAPHR is that if a vertex program of a graph algorithm can be expressed in sparse matrix vector multiplication (SpMV), it can be efficiently performed by ReRAM crossbar. We show that this assumption is generally true for a large set of graph algorithms. GRAPHR is a novel accelerator architecture consisting of two components: memory ReRAM and graph engine (GE). The core graph computations are performed in sparse matrix format in GEs (ReRAM crossbars). The vector/matrix-based graph computation is not new, but ReRAM offers the unique opportunity to realize the massive parallelism with unprecedented energy efficiency and low hardware cost. With small subgraphs processed by GEs, the gain of performing parallel operations overshadows the wastes due to sparsity. The experiment results show that GRAPHR achieves a 16.01× (up to 132.67×) speedup and a 33.82× energy saving on geometric mean compared to a CPU baseline system. Compared to GPU, GRAPHR achieves 1.69× to 2.19× speedup and consumes 4.77× to 8.91× less energy. GRAPHR gains a speedup of 1.16× to 4.12×, and is 3.67× to 10.96× more energy efficiency compared to PIM-based architecture.