On the Combination of Silent Error Detection and Checkpointing

TitleOn the Combination of Silent Error Detection and Checkpointing
Publication TypeTech Report
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsAupy, G., A. Benoit, T. Herault, Y. Robert, F. Vivien, and D. Zaidouni
Technical Report Series TitleUT-CS-13-710
Date Published2013-06
InstitutionUniversity of Tennessee Computer Science Technical Report
Other Numberslawn278
Keywordscheckpointing, error recovery, High-performance computing, silent data corruption, verification

In this paper, we revisit traditional checkpointing and rollback recovery strategies, with a focus on silent data corruption errors. Contrarily to fail-stop failures, such latent errors cannot be detected immediately, and a mechanism to detect them must be provided. We consider two models: (i) errors are detected after some delays following a probability distribution (typically, an Exponential distribution); (ii) errors are detected through some verification mechanism. In both cases, we compute the optimal period in order to minimize the waste, i.e., the fraction of time where nodes do not perform useful computations. In practice, only a fixed number of checkpoints can be kept in memory, and the first model may lead to an irrecoverable failure. In this case, we compute the minimum period required for an acceptable risk. For the second model, there is no risk of irrecoverable failure, owing to the verification mechanism, but the corresponding overhead is included in the waste. Finally, both models are instantiated using realistic scenarios and application/architecture parameters.