PSPIKE: A Parallel Hybrid Sparse Linear System Solver

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Abstract

The availability of large-scale computing platforms comprised of tens of thousands of multicore processors motivates the need for the next generation of highly scalable sparse linear system solvers. These solvers must optimize parallel performance, processor (serial) performance, as well as memory requirements, while being robust across broad classes of applications and systems. In this paper, we present a new parallel solver that combines the desirable characteristics of direct methods (robustness) and effective iterative solvers (low computational cost), while alleviating their drawbacks (memory requirements, lack of robustness). Our proposed hybrid solver is based on the general sparse solver PARDISO, and the “Spike” family of hybrid solvers. The resulting algorithm, called PSPIKE, is as robust as direct solvers, more reliable than classical preconditioned Krylov subspace methods, and much more scalable than direct sparse solvers. We support our performance and parallel scalability claims using detailed experimental studies and comparison with direct solvers, as well as classical preconditioned Krylov methods.

This work was supported by grants from NSF (NSF-CCF-0635169), DARPA/AFRL (FA8750-06-1-0233), and a gift from Intel and partially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation under grant 200021 − 117745/1.