Transparent Multi-Core Speculative Parallelization of DES Models with Event and Cross-State Dependencies

Alessandro Pellegrini and Francesco Quaglia

Published in: Proceedings of the 2014 ACM SIGSIM Conference on Principles of Advanced Discrete Simulation
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In this article we tackle transparent parallelization of Discrete Event Simulation (DES) models to be run on top of multi-core machines according to speculative schemes. The innovation in our proposal lies in that we consider a more general programming and execution model, compared to the one targeted by state of the art PDES platforms, where the boundaries of the state portion accessible while processing an event at a specific simulation object do not limit access to the actual object state, or to shared global variables. Rather, the simulation object is allowed to access (and alter) the state of any other object, thus causing what we term cross-state dependency. We note that this model exactly complies with typical (easy to manage) sequential-style DES programming, where a (dynamically-allocated) state portion of object A can be accessed by object B in either read or write mode (or both) by, e.g., passing a pointer to B as the payload of a scheduled simulation event. However, while read/write memory accesses performed in the sequential run are always guaranteed to observe (and to give rise to) a consistent snapshot of the state of the simulation model, consistency is not automatically guaranteed in case of parallelization and concurrent execution of simulation objects with cross-state dependencies. We cope with such a consistency issue, and its application-transparent support, in the context of parallel and optimistic executions. This is achieved by introducing an advanced memory management architecture, able to efficiently detect read/write accesses by concurrent objects to whichever object state in an application transparent manner, together with advanced synchronization mechanisms providing the advantage of exploiting parallelism in the underlying multi-core architecture while transparently handling both cross-state and traditional event-based dependencies. Our proposal targets Linux and has been integrated with the ROOT-Sim open source optimistic simulation platform, although its design principles, and most parts of the developed software, are of general relevance.

BibTeX Entry:

author = {Pellegrini, Alessandro and Quaglia, Francesco},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2014 ACM SIGSIM Conference on Principles of Advanced Discrete Simulation},
title = {Transparent Multi-Core Speculative Parallelization of {DES} Models with Event and Cross-State Dependencies},
year = {2014},
month = may,
pages = {105--116},
publisher = {ACM},
series = {PADS},
doi = {10.1145/2601381.2601398},
location = {Denver, Colorado, USA}