Better Together: Jointly Optimizing ML Collective Scheduling and Execution Planning using SYNDICATE


Kshiteej Mahajan, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Ching-Hsiang Chu and Srinivas Sridharan, Facebook; Aditya Akella, UT Austin


Emerging ML training deployments are trending towards larger models, and hybrid-parallel training that is not just dominated by compute-intensive all-reduce for gradient aggregation but also bandwidth-intensive collectives (e.g., all-to-all). These emerging collectives exacerbate the communication bottlenecks despite heterogeneous network interconnects with ample multipath opportunities. In this work, we propose SYNDICATE, a systematic, general framework to minimize communication bottlenecks and speed up training for both state-of-the-art and future large-scale models and interconnects. SYNDICATE proposes a novel abstraction, the motif, to break large communication work as smaller pieces as part of execution planning. SYNDICATE also does joint optimization of scheduling and execution planning by rethinking the interfaces in the networking systems stacks used for ML training. Motifs afford greater flexibility during scheduling and the joint optimizer exploits this flexibility by packing and ordering communication work so as to maximize both network utilization and overlap with compute. This improves the speed of training state-of-the-art large models by 21-74%.

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@inproceedings {285194,
author = {Kshiteej Mahajan and Ching-Hsiang Chu and Srinivas Sridharan and Aditya Akella},
title = {Better Together: Jointly Optimizing {ML} Collective Scheduling and Execution Planning using {SYNDICATE}},
booktitle = {20th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-33-5},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {809--824},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr
Mahajan Paper (Prepublication) PDF

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