Scalable Distributed Training of Recommendation Models: An ASTRA-SIM + NS3 case-study with TCP/IP transport

IEEE Symposium on High Performance Interconnects (HOTI)


Recommendation model DNNs have gained significant attention due to their vital role in recommending the best content to the user. However, in order to further increase accuracy, DNNs are becoming more complex with more data to be trained, making them infeasible for training on a single node. Distributed training is a solution to tackle this problem by employing multiple nodes for training. The importance of recommendation models necessitates to design customized HW/SW platforms for training such networks in order to minimize the communication overheads among different nodes. However, exploring this design space is difficult due to the presence of many HW/SW parameters and the limitations to change the HW parameters in real systems.

In this paper, we port the previously proposed ASTRASIM simulation platform on top of the versatile NS3 network simulator by introducing a portable network interface for ASTRA-SIM. Using NS3 enables modeling a wide variety of networks with much better accuracy. Furthermore, we enhance NS3 with detailed modeling of TCP/IP.

Finally, we study various HW/SW platforms for the DLRM recommendation model with TCP/IP as the network protocol and analyze the communication overheads in the presence of various interconnect configurations.


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