Enhancing the performance of a multiplayer game by using a parallelizing compiler

Yasir I.M. Al-Dosary, Keiji Kimura, Hironori Kasahara, Seinosuke Narita

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Video Games have been a very popular form of digital entertainment in recent years. They have been delivered in state of the art technologies that include multi-core processors that are known to be the leading contributor in enhancing the performance of computer applications. Since parallel programming is a difficult technology to implement, that field in Video Games is still rich with areas for advancements. This paper investigates performance enhancement in Video Games when using parallelizing compilers and the difficulties involved in achieving that. This experiment conducts several stages in attempting to parallelize a well-renowned sequentially written Video Game called ioquake3. First, the Game is profiled for discovering bottlenecks, then examined by hand on how much parallelism could be extracted from those bottlenecks, and what sort of hazards exist in delivering a parallel-friendly version of ioquake3. Then, the Game code is rewritten into a hazard-free version while also modified to comply with the Parallelizable-C rules, which crucially aid parallelizing compilers in extracting parallelism. Next, the program is compiled using a parallelizing compiler called OSCAR (Optimally Scheduled Advanced Multiprocessor) to produce a parallel version of ioquake3. Finally, the performance of the newly produced parallel version of ioquake3 on a Multi-core platform is analyzed. The following is found: (1) the parallelized game by the compiler from the revised sequential program of the game is found to achieve a 5.1 faster performance at 8-threads than original one on an IBM Power 5+ machine that is equipped with 8-cores, and (2) hazards are caused by thread contentions over globally shared data, and as well as thread private data, and (3) AI driven players are represented very similarly to Human players inside ioquake3 engine, which gives an estimation of the costs for parallelizing Human driven sessions, and (4) 70% of the costs of the experiment is spent in analyzing ioquake3 code, 30% in implementing the changes in the code.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of CGAMES'2012 USA - 17th International Conference on Computer Games
Subtitle of host publicationAI, Animation, Mobile, Interactive Multimedia, Educational and Serious Games
Pages67-75
Number of pages9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 19
Event17th International Conference on Computer Games, CGAMES 2012 - Louisville, KY, United States
Duration: 2012 Jul 302012 Aug 1

Publication series

NameProceedings of CGAMES'2012 USA - 17th International Conference on Computer Games: AI, Animation, Mobile, Interactive Multimedia, Educational and Serious Games

Conference

Conference17th International Conference on Computer Games, CGAMES 2012
CountryUnited States
CityLouisville, KY
Period12/7/3012/8/1

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Keywords

  • OSCAR
  • Quake
  • Video Games
  • ioquake3
  • parallel Computing
  • parallelizing compilers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

Cite this

Al-Dosary, Y. I. M., Kimura, K., Kasahara, H., & Narita, S. (2012). Enhancing the performance of a multiplayer game by using a parallelizing compiler. In Proceedings of CGAMES'2012 USA - 17th International Conference on Computer Games: AI, Animation, Mobile, Interactive Multimedia, Educational and Serious Games (pp. 67-75). [6314554] (Proceedings of CGAMES'2012 USA - 17th International Conference on Computer Games: AI, Animation, Mobile, Interactive Multimedia, Educational and Serious Games). https://doi.org/10.1109/CGames.2012.6314554