A Hybrid Method for Solving Tridiagonal Systems on the GPU

Tridiagonal linear systems are of importance to many problems in numerical analysis and computational fluid dynamics, as well as to computer graphics applications in video games and computer-animated films. Typical applications require solving hundreds or thousands of tridiagonal systems, which takes a majority part of total computation time. Fast parallel solutions are critical to larger scientific simulations, interactive computations of special effects in films, and real-time applications in video games. In this chapter, we study the performance of multiple tridiagonal algorithms on a GPU. We design a novel hybrid algorithm that combines a work efficient algorithm with a step-efficient algorithm in a way well-suited for a GPU architecture. Our hybrid solver achieves 8x and 2x speedup respectively in single precision and double precision over a multi-threaded highly-optimized CPU solver, and a 2x-2.3x speedup over a basic GPU solver.

Authors: 
Yao Zhang (UC Davis)
Jonathan Cohen (NVIDIA)
Andrew A. Davidson (UC Davis)
John Owens (UC Davis)
Publication Date: 
Thursday, September 1, 2011