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A study on parallelizing XML path filtering using accelerators

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Publish-subscribe systems present the state of the art in information dissemination to multiple users. Such systems have evolved from simple topic-based to the current XML-based systems. XML-based pubsub systems provide users with more flexibility by allowing the formulation of complex queries on the content as well as the structure of the streaming messages. Messages that match a given user query are forwarded to the user. This article examines how to exploit the parallelism found in XPath filtering. Using an incoming XML stream, parsing and matching thousands of user profiles are performed simultaneously by matching engines. We show the benefits and trade-offs of mapping the proposed filtering approach onto FPGAs, processing streams of XML at wire speed, and GPUs, providing the flexibility of software. This is in contrast to conventional approaches bound by the sequential aspect of software computing, associated with a large memory footprint. By converting XPath expressions into custom stacks, our solution is the first to provide support for complex XPath structural constructs, such as parent-child and ancestor descendant relations, whilst allowing wildcarding and recursion. The measured speedups resulting from the GPU and FPGA accelerations versus single-core CPUs are up to 6.6X and 2.5 orders of magnitude, respectively. The FPGA approaches are up to 31X faster than software running on 12 CPU cores.

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