GNNAdvisor: An Adaptive and Efficient Runtime System for GNN Acceleration on GPUs


Yuke Wang, Boyuan Feng, Gushu Li, Shuangchen Li, Lei Deng, Yuan Xie, and Yufei Ding, University of California, Santa Barbara


As the emerging trend of graph-based deep learning, Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) excel for their capability to generate high-quality node feature vectors (embeddings). However, the existing one-size-fits-all GNN implementations are insufficient to catch up with the evolving GNN architectures, the ever-increasing graph size, and the diverse node embedding dimensionality. To this end, we propose GNNAdvisor, an adaptive and efficient runtime system to accelerate various GNN workloads on GPU platforms. First, GNNAdvisor explores and identifies several performance-relevant features from both the GNN model and the input graph, and use them as a new driving force for GNN acceleration. Second, GNNAdvisor implements a novel and highly-efficient 2D workload management tailored for GNN computation to improve GPU utilization and performance under different application settings. Third, GNNAdvisor capitalizes on the GPU memory hierarchy for acceleration by gracefully coordinating the execution of GNNs according to the characteristics of the GPU memory structure and GNN workloads. Furthermore, to enable automatic runtime optimization, GNNAdvisor incorporates a lightweight analytical model for an effective design parameter search. Extensive experiments show that GNNAdvisor outperforms the state-of-the-art GNN computing frameworks, such as Deep Graph Library (3.02✕ faster on average) and NeuGraph (up to 4.10✕ faster), on mainstream GNN architectures across various datasets.

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@inproceedings {273751,
author = {Yuke Wang and Boyuan Feng and Gushu Li and Shuangchen Li and Lei Deng and Yuan Xie and Yufei Ding},
title = {{GNNAdvisor}: An Adaptive and Efficient Runtime System for {GNN} Acceleration on {GPUs}},
booktitle = {15th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI 21)},
year = {2021},
isbn = {978-1-939133-22-9},
pages = {515--531},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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