C3LES: Codes for Coded Computation that Leverage Stragglers

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Das, Anindya
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) contains two focuses. The focus on Electrical Engineering teaches students in the fields of control systems, electromagnetics and non-destructive evaluation, microelectronics, electric power & energy systems, and the like. The Computer Engineering focus teaches in the fields of software systems, embedded systems, networking, information security, computer architecture, etc.

The Department of Electrical Engineering was formed in 1909 from the division of the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering. In 1985 its name changed to Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. In 1995 it became the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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  • Department of Electrical Engineering (1909-1985)
  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering (1985-1995)

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In distributed computing systems, it is well recognized that worker nodes that are slow (called stragglers) tend to dominate the overall job execution time. Coded computation utilizes concepts from erasure coding to mitigate the effect of stragglers by running "coded" copies of tasks comprising a job. Stragglers are typically treated as erasures in this process. While this is useful, there are issues with applying, e.g., MDS codes in a straightforward manner. Specifically, several applications such as matrix-vector products deal with sparse matrices. MDS codes typically require dense linear combinations of submatrices of the original matrix which destroy their inherent sparsity. This is problematic as it results in significantly higher processing times for computing the submatrix-vector products in coded computation. Furthermore, it also ignores partial computations at stragglers.
In this work, we propose a fine-grained model that quantifies the level of non-trivial coding needed to obtain the benefits of coding in matrix-vector computation. Simultaneously, it allows us to leverage partial computations performed by the straggler nodes. For this model, we propose and evaluate several code designs and discuss their properties.


This is a pre-print of the article Das, Anindya B., Li Tang, and Aditya Ramamoorthy. "C3LES: Codes for Coded Computation that Leverage Stragglers." arXiv preprint arXiv:1809.06242 (2018). Posted with permission.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2018