Efficient Minimum Cycle Mean Algorithms And Their Applications

2020-07-23T18:02:41Z (GMT) by Supriyo Maji

Minimum cycle mean (MCM) is an important concept in directed graphs. From clock period optimization, timing analysis to layout optimization, minimum cycle mean algorithms have found widespread use in VLSI system design optimization. With transistor size scaling to 10nm and below, complexities and size of the systems have grown rapidly over the last decade. Scalability of the algorithms both in terms of their runtime and memory usage is therefore important.


Among the few classical MCM algorithms, the algorithm by Young, Tarjan, and Orlin (YTO), has been particularly popular. When implemented with a binary heap, the YTO algorithm has the best runtime performance although it has higher asymptotic time complexity than Karp's algorithm. However, as an efficient implementation of YTO relies on data redundancy, its memory usage is higher and could be a prohibitive factor in large size problems. On the other hand, a typical implementation of Karp's algorithm can also be memory hungry. An early termination technique from Hartmann and Orlin (HO) can be directly applied to Karp's algorithm to improve its runtime performance and memory usage. Although not as efficient as YTO in runtime, HO algorithm has much less memory usage than YTO. We propose several improvements to HO algorithm. The proposed algorithm has comparable runtime performance to YTO for circuit graphs and dense random graphs while being better than HO algorithm in memory usage.


Minimum balancing of a directed graph is an application of the minimum cycle mean algorithm. Minimum balance algorithms have been used to optimally distribute slack for mitigating process variation induced timing violation issues in clock network. In a conventional minimum balance algorithm, the principal subroutine is that of finding MCM in a graph. In particular, the minimum balance algorithm iteratively finds the minimum cycle mean and the corresponding minimum-mean cycle, and uses the mean and cycle to update the graph by changing edge weights and reducing the graph size. The iterations terminate when the updated graph is a single node. Studies have shown that the bottleneck of the iterative process is the graph update operation as previous approaches involved updating the entire graph. We propose an improvement to the minimum balance algorithm by performing fewer changes to the edge weights in each iteration, resulting in better efficiency.


We also apply the minimum cycle mean algorithm in latency insensitive system design. Timing violations can occur in high performance communication links in system-on-chips (SoCs) in the late stages of the physical design process. To address the issues, latency insensitive systems (LISs) employ pipelining in the communication channels through insertion of the relay stations. Although the functionality of a LIS is robust with respect to the communication latencies, such insertion can degrade system throughput performance. Earlier studies have shown that the proper sizing of buffer queues after relay station insertion could eliminate such performance loss. However, solving the problem of maximum performance buffer queue sizing requires use of mixed integer linear programming (MILP) of which runtime is not scalable. We formulate the problem as a parameterized graph optimization problem where for every communication channel there is a parameterized edge with buffer counts as the edge weight. We then use minimum cycle mean algorithm to determine from which edges buffers can be removed safely without creating negative cycles. This is done iteratively in the similar style as the minimum balance algorithm. Experimental results suggest that the proposed approach is scalable. Moreover, quality of the solution is observed to be as good as that of the MILP based approach.