IEEE Transactions on Computers

IEEE Transactions on Computers (TC) is a monthly publication that publishes research in such areas as computer organizations and architectures, digital devices, operating systems, and new and important applications and trends.

From the August 2015 issue

Utility Functions and Resource Management in an Oversubscribed Heterogeneous Computing Environment

By Bhavesh Khemka, Ryan Friese, Luis D. Briceno, Howard Jay Siegel, Anthony A. Maciejewski, Gregory A. Koenig, Chris Groer, Gene Okonski, Marcia M. Hilton, Rajendra Rambharos, and Steve Poole

Featured article thumbnail imageWe model an oversubscribed heterogeneous computing system where tasks arrive dynamically and a scheduler maps the tasks to machines for execution. The environment and workloads are based on those being investigated by the Extreme Scale Systems Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Utility functions that are designed based on specifications from the system owner and users are used to create a metric for the performance of resource allocation heuristics. Each task has a time-varying utility (importance) that the enterprise will earn based on when the task successfully completes execution. We design multiple heuristics, which include a technique to drop low utility-earning tasks, to maximize the total utility that can be earned by completing tasks. The heuristics are evaluated using simulation experiments with two levels of oversubscription. The results show the benefit of having fast heuristics that account for the importance of a task and the heterogeneity of the environment when making allocation decisions in an oversubscribed environment. The ability to drop low utility-earning tasks allow the heuristics to tolerate the high oversubscription as well as earn significant utility.

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