Abstract: Introspective sorting is a ubiquitous sorting algorithm which underlies many large scale distributed systems. Hardware-mediated soft errors can result in comparison and memory errors, and thus cause introsort to generate incorrect output, which in turn disrupts systems built upon introsort; hence, it is critical to incorporate fault tolerance capability within introsort. This paper proposes the first theoretically-sound, practical fault tolerant introsort with negligible overhead: FT-iSort. To tolerate comparison errors, we use minimal TMR protection via exploiting the properties of the effects of soft errors on introsort. This algorithm-based selective protection incurs far less overhead than naïve TMR protection designed to protect an entire application. To tolerate memory errors that escape DRAM error correcting code, we propose XOR-based re-execution. We incorporate our fault tolerance method into the well-known parallel sorting implementation HykSort, and we find that fault tolerant HykSort incurs negligible overhead and obtains nearly the same scalability as unprotected HykSort.
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