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Massively Parallel Computation Using Graphics Processors with Application to Optimal Experimentation in Dynamic Control

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  • Sergei Morozov

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  • Sudhanshu Mathur

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Abstract

The rapid growth in the performance of graphics hardware, coupled with recent improvements in its programmability has lead to its adoption in many non-graphics applications, including a wide variety of scientific computing fields. At the same time, a number of important dynamic optimal policy problems in economics are athirst of computing power to help overcome dual curses of complexity and dimensionality. We investigate if computational economics may benefit from new tools on a case study of imperfect information dynamic programming problem with learning and experimentation trade-off, that is, a choice between controlling the policy target and learning system parameters. Specifically, we use a model of active learning and control of a linear autoregression with the unknown slope that appeared in a variety of macroeconomic policy and other contexts. The endogeneity of posterior beliefs makes the problem difficult in that the value function need not be convex and the policy function need not be continuous. This complication makes the problem a suitable target for massively-parallel computation using graphics processors (GPUs). Our findings are cautiously optimistic in that the new tools let us easily achieve a factor of 15 performance gain relative to an implementation targeting single-core processors. Further gains up to a factor of 26 are also achievable but lie behind a learning and experimentation barrier of their own. Drawing upon experience with CUDA programming architecture and GPUs provides general lessons on how to best exploit future trends in parallel computation in economics. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Sergei Morozov & Sudhanshu Mathur, 2012. "Massively Parallel Computation Using Graphics Processors with Application to Optimal Experimentation in Dynamic Control," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 40(2), pages 151-182, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:compec:v:40:y:2012:i:2:p:151-182 DOI: 10.1007/s10614-011-9297-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Casarin & Stefano Grassi & Francesco Ravazzolo & Herman K. van Dijk, 2015. "Dynamic predictive density combinations for large data sets in economics and finance," Working Paper 2015/12, Norges Bank.
    2. Casarin, Roberto & Grassi, Stefano & Ravazzolo, Francesco & van Dijk, Herman K., 2015. "Parallel Sequential Monte Carlo for Efficient Density Combination: The DeCo MATLAB Toolbox," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 68(i03).
    3. Michael C. Hatcher & Eric M. Scheffel, 2016. "Solving the Incomplete Markets Model in Parallel Using GPU Computing and the Krusell–Smith Algorithm," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 48(4), pages 569-591, December.
    4. John Gibson & James P Henson, 2016. "Getting the most from MATLAB: ditching canned routines and embracing coder," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(4), pages 2519-2525.
    5. Nalan Baştürk & Stefano Grassi & Lennart Hoogerheide & Herman K. van Dijk, 2016. "Parallelization Experience with Four Canonical Econometric Models Using ParMitISEM," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-20, March.
    6. Yongyang Cai & Kenneth Judd & Greg Thain & Stephen Wright, 2015. "Solving Dynamic Programming Problems on a Computational Grid," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 261-284, February.
    7. Matt Dziubinski & Stefano Grassi, 2014. "Heterogeneous Computing in Economics: A Simplified Approach," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 43(4), pages 485-495, April.
    8. Lilia Maliar, 2015. "Assessing gains from parallel computation on a supercomputer," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 159-167.
    9. Lilia Maliar, 2013. "Assessing gains from parallel computation on supercomputers," Working Papers. Serie AD 2013-10, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).

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