RTGPU: Real-Time GPU Scheduling of Hard Deadline Parallel Tasks With Fine-Grain Utilization

An Zou, Jing Li, Christopher D. Gill, Xuan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Many emerging cyber-physical systems, such as autonomous vehicles and robots, rely heavily on artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to perform important system operations. Since these highly parallel applications are computationally intensive, they need to be accelerated by graphics processing units (GPUs) to meet stringent timing constraints. However, despite the wide adoption of GPUs, efficiently scheduling multiple GPU applications while providing rigorous real-time guarantees remains challenging. Each GPU application has multiple CPU execution and memory copy segments, with GPU kernels running on different hardware resources. Because of the complicated interactions between heterogeneous segments of parallel tasks, high schedulability is hard to achieve with conventional approaches. This paper proposes RTGPU, which combines fine-grain GPU partitioning on the system-side with a novel scheduling algorithm on the theory-side. We start by building a model for CPU and memory copy segments. Leveraging persistent threads, we then implement fine-grained GPU partitioning with improved performance through interleaved execution. To reap the benefits of fine-grained GPU partitioning and schedule multiple parallel GPU applications, we propose a novel real-time scheduling algorithm based on federated scheduling and grid search with uniprocessor fixed-priority scheduling. Our approach provides real-time guarantees to meet hard deadlines and achieves over 11% improvement in system throughput and up to 57% schedulability improvement compared with previous work. We validate and evaluate RTGPU on NVIDIA GPU systems. Our system-side techniques can be applied on mainstream GPUs, and the proposed scheduling theory can be used in general heterogeneous computing platforms which have a similar task execution pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1450-1465
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


  • federated scheduling
  • fixed priority
  • interleaved execution
  • parallel real-time scheduling
  • persistent thread
  • schedulability analysis
  • self-suspension model


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