Online Job Scheduling In Distributed Machine Learning Clusters

Yixin Bao The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Yanghua Peng The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Chuan Wu The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Zongpeng Li University of Calgary, Canada


Nowadays large-scale distributed machine learning systems have been deployed to support various analytics and intelligence services in IT firms. To train a large dataset and derive the prediction/inference model, e.g., a deep neural network , multiple workers are run in parallel to train partitions of the input dataset, and update shared model parameters. In a shared cluster handling multiple training jobs, a fundamental issue is how to efficiently schedule jobs and set the number of concurrent workers to run for each job, such that server resources are maximally utilized and model training can be completed in time. Targeting a distributed machine learning system using the parameter server framework, we design an online algorithm for scheduling the arriving jobs and deciding the adjusted numbers of concurrent workers and parameter servers for each job over its course, to maximize overall utility of all jobs, contingent on their completion times. Our online algorithm design utilizes a primal-dual framework coupled with efficient dual subroutines, achieving good long-term performance guarantees with polynomial time complexity. Practical effectiveness of the online algorithm is evaluated using trace-driven simulation and testbed experiments, which demonstrate its outperformance as compared to commonly adopted scheduling algorithms in today's cloud systems.

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