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JUNO: Optimizing High-Dimensional Approximate Nearest Neighbour Search with Sparsity-Aware Algorithm and Ray-Tracing Core Mapping
Zihan Liu, Wentao Ni, Jingwen Leng, Yu Feng, Cong Guo, Quan Chen, Chao Li, Minyi Guo, Yuhao Zhu
In Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), 2024


Approximate nearest neighbor (ANN) search is a widely applied technique in modern intelligent applications, such as recommendation systems and vector databases. Therefore, efficient and high-throughput execution of ANN search has become increasingly important. In this paper, we first characterize the state-of-the-art product quantization-based method of ANN search and identify a significant source of inefficiency in the form of unnecessary pairwise distance calculations and accumulations. To improve efficiency, we propose JUNO, an end-to-end ANN search system that adopts a carefully designed sparsity- and locality-aware search algorithm. We also present an efficient hardware mapping that utilizes ray tracing cores in modern GPUs with pipelined execution on tensor cores to execute our sparsity-aware ANN search algorithm. Our evaluations on four datasets ranging in size from 1 to 100 million search points demonstrate 2.2x-8.5x improvements in search throughput. Moreover, our algorithmic enhancements alone achieve a maximal 2.6x improvement on the hardware without the acceleration of the RT core.