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  1. R-tree is a foundational data structure used in spatial databases and scientific databases. With the advancement of networks and computer architectures, in-memory data processing for R-tree in distributed systems has become a common platform. We have observed new performance challenges to process R-tree as the amount of multidimensional datasets become increasingly high. Specifically, an R-tree server can be heavily overloaded while the network and client CPU are lightly loaded, and vice versa. In this article, we present the design and implementation of Catfish, an RDMA-enabled R-tree for low latency and high throughput by adaptively utilizing the available network bandwidth and computing resources to balance the workloads between clients and servers. We design and implement two basic mechanisms of using RDMA for a client-server R-tree data processing system. First, in the fast messaging design, we use RDMA writes to send R-tree requests to the server and let server threads process R-tree requests to achieve low query latency. Second, in the RDMA offloading design, we use RDMA reads to offload tree traversal from the server to the client, which rescues the server as it is overloaded. We further develop an adaptive scheme to effectively switch an R-tree search between fast messaging andmore »RDMA offloading, maximizing the overall performance. Our experiments show that the adaptive solution of Catfish on InfiniBand significantly outperforms R-tree that uses only fast messaging or only RDMA offloading in both latency and throughput. Catfish can also deliver up to one order of magnitude performance over the traditional schemes using TCP/IP on 1 and 40 Gbps Ethernet. We make a strong case to use RDMA to effectively balance workloads in distributed systems for low latency and high throughput.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 30, 2023
  2. Containerization is becoming increasingly popular, but unfortunately, containers often fail to deliver the anticipated performance with the allocated resources. In this paper, we first demonstrate the performance variance and degradation are significant (by up to 5x) in a multi-tenant environment where containers are co-located. We then investigate the root cause of such performance degradation. Contrary to the common belief that such degradation is caused by resource contention and interference, we find that there is a gap between the amount of CPU a container reserves and actually gets. The root cause lies in the design choices of today's Linux scheduling mechanism, which we call Forced Runqueue Sharing and Phantom CPU Time. In fact, there are fundamental conflicts between the need to reserve CPU resources and Completely Fair Scheduler's work-conserving nature, and this contradiction prevents a container from fully utilizing its requested CPU resources. As a proof-of-concept, we implement a new resource configuration mechanism atop the widely used Kubernetes and Linux to demonstrate its potential benefits and shed light on future scheduler redesign. Our proof-of-concept, compared to the existing scheduler, improves the performance of both batch and interactive containerized apps by up to 5.6x and 13.7x.
  3. Visual contents, including images and videos, are dominant on the Internet today. The conventional search engine is mainly designed for textual documents, which must be extended to process and manage increasingly high volumes of visual data objects. In this paper, we present Mixer, an effective system to identify and analyze visual contents and to extract their features for data retrievals, aiming at addressing two critical issues: (1) efficiently and timely understanding visual contents, (2) retrieving them at high precision and recall rates without impairing the performance. In Mixer, the visual objects are categorized into different classes, each of which has representative visual features. Subsystems for model production and model execution are developed. Two retrieval layers are designed and implemented for images and videos, respectively. In this way, we are able to perform aggregation retrievals of the two types in efficient ways. The experiments with Baidu's production workloads and systems show that Mixer halves the model production time and raises the feature production throughput by 9.14x. Mixer also achieves the precision and recall of video retrievals at 95% and 97%, respectively. Mixer has been in its daily operations, which makes the search engine highly scalable for visual contents at a lowmore »cost. Having observed productivity improvement of upper-level applications in the search engine, we believe our system framework would generally benefit other data processing applications.« less
  4. Nested queries are commonly used to express complex use-cases by connecting the output of a subquery as an input to the outer query block. However, their execution is highly time consuming. Researchers have proposed various algorithms and techniques that unnest subqueries to improve performance. Since this is a customized approach that needs high algorithmic and engineering efforts, it is largely not an open feature in most existing database systems. Our approach is general-purpose and GPU-acceleration based, aiming for high performance at a minimum development cost. We look into the major differences between nested and unnested query structures to identify their merits and limits for GPU processing. Furthermore, we focus on the nested approach that is algorithmically simple and rich in parallels, in relatively low space complexity, and generic in program structure. We create a new code generation framework that best fits GPU for the nested method. We also make several critical system optimizations including massive parallel scanning with indexing, effective vectorization to optimize join operations, exploiting cache locality for loops and efficient GPU memory management. We have implemented the proposed solutions in NestGPU, a GPU-based column-store database system that is GPU device independent. We have extensively evaluated and tested themore »system to show the effectiveness of our proposed methods.« less