Checkpointing Workflows for Fail-Stop Errors

TitleCheckpointing Workflows for Fail-Stop Errors
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHan, L., L-C. Canon, H. Casanova, Y. Robert, and F. Vivien
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computers
Date Published2018-08
Keywordscheckpoint, fail-stop error, resilience, workflow

We consider the problem of orchestrating the execution of workflow applications structured as Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs) on parallel computing platforms that are subject to fail-stop failures. The objective is to minimize expected overall execution time, or makespan. A solution to this problem consists of a schedule of the workflow tasks on the available processors and of a decision of which application data to checkpoint to stable storage, so as to mitigate the impact of processor failures. To address this challenge, we consider a restricted class of graphs, Minimal Series-Parallel Graphs (M-SPGS), which is relevant to many real-world workflow applications. For this class of graphs, we propose a recursive list-scheduling algorithm that exploits the M-SPG structure to assign sub-graphs to individual processors, and uses dynamic programming to decide how to checkpoint these sub-graphs. We assess the performance of our algorithm for production workflow configurations, comparing it to an approach in which all application data is checkpointed and an approach in which no application data is checkpointed. Results demonstrate that our algorithm outperforms both the former approach, because of lower checkpointing overhead, and the latter approach, because of better resilience to failures.

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