Distinguished Alumni Seminar Series

Friday, FebruaryJason-Mars-2016 19, 2016

Jason Mars, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

3:30 PM, Rice Hall, Rm. 130
Reception follows in Rice 4th floor Atrium

HOSTS: Mary Lou Soffa

Let’s Get Sirius



As user demand scales for intelligent personal assistants (IPAs) such as Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Now, and Microsoft’s Cortana, we are approaching the computational limits of current datacenter architectures. It is an open question how future server architectures should evolve to enable this emerging class of applications, and the lack of an open source IPA workload is an obstacle in addressing this question.

In this presentation, Jason Mars presents the design of Sirius, an open end-to-end IPA web-service application that accepts queries in the form of voice and images, and responds with natural language. This workload is then used to investigate the implications of four points in the design space of future accelerator-based server architectures spanning traditional CPUs, GPUs, manycore throughput co-processors, and FPGAs. To investigate future server designs for Sirius, we decompose Sirius into a suite of 7 benchmarks (Sirius Suite) comprising the computationally intensive bottlenecks of Sirius. We port Sirius Suite to a spectrum of accelerator platforms and use the performance and power trade-offs across these platforms to perform a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis of various server design points. In our study, we find that accelerators are critical for the future scalability of IPA services. Results show that GPU- and FPGA-accelerated servers improve the query latency on average by 10x and 16x. For a given throughput, GPU- and FPGA-accelerated servers can reduce the TCO of datacenters by 2.6x and 1.4x, respectively.

Bio: Jason Mars received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Virginia in 2012. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan and CEO/Co-founder of Clinc. Jason is recognized as a leading expert in the design of cross-layer systems for emerging cloud computing applications, artificial intelligence, computer vision, and natural language processing. Jason has published dozens of top-notch papers in these areas and received a number of awards and honors for excellence in his research work, including a Google Faculty Research Award. Jason’s work has impacted both industry and academia and is routinely covered by press outlets such as Wired, Venturebeat, Business Insider, EETimes, among others. Most recently, Jason Mars, along with members of his lab at UMich, has had significant impact on industry and academia with Sirius, an open source replica of Apple’s Siri. This project has taken the community by storm, ascending to the top trending project on GitHub during the early weeks of its releases. You can find out more information about Jason Mars at http://www.jasonmars.org/ and the company Clarity Lab, Inc. (Clinc) at http://clinc.ai/

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