Title: Scalable and portable architecture for probability density function estimation on FPGAs
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Title: Scalable and portable architecture for probability density function estimation on FPGAs
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Nagarajan, Karthik
Holland, Brian
Slatton, Clint
George, Alan D.
Publisher: Karthik Nagarajan et al.
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Copyright Date: 2008
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Bibliographic ID: UF00094683
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Scalable and Portable Architecture for
Probability Density Function Estimation on FPGAs

Karthik Nagarajan, Brian Holland, Clint Slatton, Alan D. George
NSF Center for High-Performance Reconfigurable Computing (CHREC)
ECE Department, University of Florida
E-mail: [nagartuiii, .ii 'lltJi. \I,,tti, n. georgej @chrec.org


1. Introduction

Significant success has been achieved in FPGA
application research by selecting, developing, and
testing diverse applications from various fields. The
Parzen window-based, non-parametric estimation
algorithm for Probability Density Function (PDF) is
known to suffer from super-linear increases in
computational time with increasing data size and
number of signals being processed. It forms an integral
part of numerous machine-learning applications and
hence fast and efficient execution of the algorithm is
highly desirable. Different FPGA architectures (i.e.
diverse platforms) offer varying degrees of
performance for different applications. Thus, it is best
to determine at a preliminary stage of system design
the maximum performances attainable in migrating a
specific algorithm to a variety of FPGA platforms.
Along this line, this paper describes the design,
development, and analysis of a scalable and portable
architecture for multi-dimensional, non-parametric
PDF estimation using Gaussian kernels on FPGAs.

2. Algorithm Overview

The computational complexity of the Parzen-
window algorithm [1] is of order O(Nnd), where N is the
total number of data points, n is the number of discrete
points at which the PDF along a dimension are
estimated (i.e. bins), and d is the number of dimensions.
The data flow in the algorithm follows an exhaustive
data permutation pattern wherein all of the input data
affects the value of every output data point.
Mathematically, the probability that point i falls in a d-
dimensional space is given by

xr1/ h-_d (i -d 11)2 -(y,-y2 )2
pi .. e 2h ..e 2h (1)
n1",nd j=l j2=1

This work was supported in part by the I/UCRC Program of the
National Science Foundation under Grant No. EEC-0642422. The
authors also gratefully acknowledge vendor equipment and/or tools
provided by Xilinx, Cray, and Nallatech that helped make this work
possible.


where h is a tuning parameter of the algorithm, (x',...yi)
denotes the bin at which the PDF is estimated, and
(xi,...,yi) denotes the input in a d-dimensional space. To
make the algorithm more suitable to hardware, a
second-order Taylor series expansion is applied to the
exponential function. Specifically, the expression for
the 1-D PDF is given in Eq. 2.
P ,1 h (x )2 (2)
Pi ,=-hn 2h2


3. FPGA Core Design

After understanding the PDF estimation algorithm,
an FPGA core design to efficiently perform the
algorithm can be crafted. The general architecture of the
1-D PDF estimation algorithm is highlighted in Fig. 1.
A kernel computes the PDF value for a particular data
sample x, at a particular point x' (i.e. at a particular bin).
Parallel pipelines for k such kernels are created. Each
kernel is seeded differently and performs the same set
of operations on every input data sample independently.
Load balancing and reducing communication and
synchronization requirements are needed to ensure that
hardware outperforms its sequential software
counterpart. The Parzen window technique is an
embarrassingly parallel algorithm that has no
communication between kernels and requires minimal
synchronization.
FPGA Memory




-
_ ,,_ .r --_' -.- --_


x x < X X X X x
+ +i +
b. f 0, B' ... E ". 3 -." B i'
0-31 324-3 4-95 6-127 12-159 100-191 192223 '12
PDF Kernel

Figure 1. Architecture of 1-D PDF algorithm










This trait allows the possibility to distribute data
samples across kernels that can process data in a
parallel fashion (see Fig. 1). In estimating multi-
dimensional PDFs, operations in each dimension are
independent of the others and hence performed in a
parallel fashion within each pipeline. Internal
registering for each bin keeps a running total of the
impact of all processed data. These cumulative totals
comprise the final estimation of the PDF function.
The RC Amenability Test (RAT) [2] is a
ilnc'li dl .'l', developed for predicting the performance
(speedup) of a specific application design on a specific
platform and features two important steps. The first step
deals with estimating the communication burden (tcomm)
involved in transferring data in and out of the FPGA.
The second step involves the estimation of time spent in
performing computation (tcomp) over the data transferred
under an assumed FPGA clock frequency. The software
baseline for computing speedup values was measured
from an optimized C program executed on a 3.2 GHz
Xeon processor using single-precision floating point.
The predicted speedups for the 1-D and 2-D PDF
algorithms were 10.5 and 6.8, respectively.

4. Results

The experimental platform primarily used in these
experiments was a Nallatech H101 board with a Xilinx
Virtex-4 LX100 FPGA. The board communicates with
the host processor over a PCI-X interconnect. A 32-bit
middleware communication channel is used of which 9
bits were allocated for the fixed-point fractional
segment. The single-core 1-D and 2-D PDF designs
operated at FPGA clock speeds of 150 MHz and 100
MHz, respectively. The number of kernels, k, in the
core and the number of data samples per transfer were
set to 8 and 512, respectively. It can be seen from the
comparisons made in Table 1A that the actual speedups
obtained are reasonably close to the predicted speedups.
The deviation between the values is primarily due to the
inaccurate estimate of tcomm values (variation in the
interconnect channel efficiency for small data
transfers). The tco,,p predictions are relatively closer to
the experimental values owing to the deterministic
nature of the algorithm.
Dual-core architectures were developed and
evaluated (see Table 1B) to study inherent
characteristics for scalability on single- or multiple-
device systems by replicating the single-core designs
sharing the same interconnect. In addition to having
scalability impacts, application characteristics also
contribute greatly to platform selection and
performance. The utilization factors in RAT indicate
the nature of a particular design in terms of whether it is
communication-bound or computation-bound and aid in


the selection of an ideal platform. While platforms with
FPGAs having more multipliers (e.g., the Cray XD1
with Virtex-2 Pro FPGAs) and faster interconnects
(e.g., RapidArray in XD1) might intuitively suggest
improvements in speedup by performing more
computations in the PDF algorithm in parallel, these
could be negated by poor read and write efficiencies
during data communication. This case was particularly
true with the Cray XD1 system (see Table 1C).
Although it housed a theoretically faster interconnect,
significantly low read speeds (-4MB/s for small data
transfers) led to a small speedup in the 2-D PDF design.

Table 1. Speedup values for A) single-core designs, B)
dual-core designs, and C) designs across platforms
Predicted Experimental
A 1-D 2-D 1-D 2-D
tc,,m(sec) 6.0E-6 1.6E-3 2.5E-5 1.1E-2
tcomp(sec) 1.3E-4 5.6E-2 1.4E-4 6.5E-2
Speedup 10.5 6.8 7.8 5.2

B Single-core Dual-core
1-D 2-D 1-D 2-D
Speedup 7.8 5.2 13.4 7.2

Nallatech Cray XD1
1-D 2-D 1-D 2-D
Speedup 7.8 5.2 20.6 4.0

5. Conclusions

Significant performance improvements in terms of
speedup were obtained from our design for the Parzen
window-based PDF estimation algorithm on FPGAs.
Dual-core architectures were developed on a single-
device system by exploiting scalability in the algorithm.
Key design parameters were identified for tuning the
architecture to suit different platforms. We believe that
with the successful design of a scalable and portable
architecture for the PDF algorithm, rapid development
of hardware designs for similarly patterned algorithms
(e.g. k-means clustering, correlation functions, and
information theoretic measures) is possible by
investigating and generalizing design patterns.

6. References
[1] R. O. Duda, P. E. Hart, and D. G. Stork, "Pattern
Classification," 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2001.
[2] Brian Holland, Karthik Nagarajan, Chris Conger, Adam
Jacobs, and Alan D. George, "RAT: A Methodology for
Predicting Performance in Application Design Migration to
FPGAs," Proc. of High-Performance Rt ,,ti'iilr'ltI
Computing Technologies & Applications Workshop
(HPRCTA 2007), SC'07, Reno, NV, Nov. 11, 2007.




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