Partitioning Distributed Compute Jobs with Reinforcement Learning and Graph Neural Networks

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Partitioning Distributed Compute Jobs with Reinforcement Learning and Graph Neural Networks


Christopher W. F. Parsonson, Zacharaya Shabka, Alessandro Ottino, Georgios Zervas


From natural language processing to genome sequencing, large-scale machine learning models are bringing advances to a broad range of fields. Many of these models are too large to be trained on a single machine, and instead must be distributed across multiple devices. This has motivated the research of new compute and network systems capable of handling such tasks. In particular, recent work has focused on developing management schemes which decide how to allocate distributed resources such that some overall objective, such as minimising the job completion time (JCT), is optimised. However, such studies omit explicit consideration of how much a job should be distributed, usually assuming that maximum distribution is desirable. In this work, we show that maximum parallelisation is sub-optimal in relation to user-critical metrics such as throughput and blocking rate. To address this, we propose PAC-ML (partitioning for asynchronous computing with machine learning). PAC-ML leverages a graph neural network and reinforcement learning to learn how much to partition computation graphs such that the number of jobs which meet arbitrary user-defined JCT requirements is maximised. In experiments with five real deep learning computation graphs on a recently proposed optical architecture across four user-defined JCT requirement distributions, we demonstrate PAC-ML achieving up to 56.2% lower blocking rates in dynamic job arrival settings than the canonical maximum parallelisation strategy used by most prior works.

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