Random Convolutional Coding for Robust and Straggler Resilient Distributed Matrix Computation
Distributed matrix computations (matrix-vector and matrix-matrix multiplications) are at the heart of several tasks within the machine learning pipeline. However, distributed clusters are well-recognized to suffer from the problem of stragglers (slow or failed nodes). Prior work in this area has presented straggler mitigation strategies based on polynomial evaluation/interpolation. However, such approaches suffer from numerical problems (blow up of round-off errors) owing to the high condition numbers of the corresponding Vandermonde matrices. In this work, we introduce a novel solution approach that relies on embedding distributed matrix computations into the structure of a convolutional code. This simple innovation allows us to develop a provably numerically robust and efficient (fast) solution for distributed matrix-vector and matrix-matrix multiplication.