Abstract: Generalized Sparse Matrix-Matrix Multiplication (SpGEMM) is a ubiquitous task in various engineering and scientific applications. However, inner product based SpGENN introduces redundant input fetches for mismatched nonzero operands, while outer product based approach suffers from poor output locality due to numerous partial product matrices. Inefficiency in the reuse of either inputs or outputs data leads to extensive and expensive DRAM access.
To address this problem, this paper proposes an efficient sparse matrix multiplication accelerator architecture, SpArch, which jointly optimizes the data locality for both input and output matrices. We first design a highly parallelized streaming-based merger to pipeline the multiply and merge stage of partial matrices so that partial matrices are merged on chip immediately after produced. We then propose a condensed matrix representation that reduces the number of partial matrices by three orders of magnitude and thus reduces DRAM access by 5.4x. We further develop a Huffman tree scheduler to improve the scalability of the merger for larger sparse matrices, which reduces the DRAM access by another 1.8x. We also resolve the increased input matrix read induced by the new representation using a row prefetcher with near-optimal buffer replacement policy, further reducing the DRAM access by 1.5x. Evaluated on 20 benchmarks, SpArch reduces the total DRAM access by 2.8x over previous state-of-the-art. On average, SpArch achieves 4x, 19x, 18x, 17x, 1285x speedup and 6x, 164x, 435x, 307x, 62x energy savings over OuterSPACE, MKL, cuSPARSE, CUSP, and ARM Armadillo, respectively.
Authors: Zhekai Zhang, Hanrui Wang, Song Han, William J. Dally (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, NVIDIA)