Dynamic Load Policy

The dynamic selection API is an experimental feature in the oneAPI DPC++ Library (oneDPL) that selects an execution resource based on a chosen selection policy. There are several policies provided as part of the API. Policies encapsulate the logic and any associated state needed to make a selection.

The dynamic load policy tracks the number of submissions currently submitted but not yet completed on each resource and selects the resource that has the fewest unfinished submissions. dynamic_load_policy is useful for offloading kernels of varying cost to devices of varying performance. A load-based assignment may achieve a good load balancing by submitting tasks to a resource that completes work faster.

namespace oneapi::dpl::experimental {

  template<typename Backend = sycl_backend>
  class dynamic_load_policy {
    // useful types
    using resource_type = typename Backend::resource_type;
    using wait_type = typename Backend::wait_type;

    class selection_type {
      dynamic_load_policy<Backend> get_policy() const;
      resource_type unwrap() const;

    // constructors
    dynamic_load_policy(const std::vector<resource_type>& u);

    // deferred initializer
    void initialize();
    void initialize(const std::vector<resource_type>& u);

    // queries
    auto get_resources() const;
    auto get_submission_group();

    // other implementation defined functions...


This policy can be used with all the dynamic selection functions, such as select, submit, and submit_and_wait. It can also be used with policy_traits.


The following example demonstrates a simple approach to send work to more than one queue concurrently using dynamic_load_policy. The policy selects the resource with the fewest number of unfinished submissions.

#include <oneapi/dpl/dynamic_selection>
#include <sycl/sycl.hpp>
#include <iostream>

const std::size_t N = 10000;
namespace ex = oneapi::dpl::experimental;

void f(sycl::handler& h, float* v);
void do_cpu_work();

int dynamic_load_example(std::vector<sycl::queue>& devices,
                         std::vector<float *>& usm_data) {

  ex::dynamic_load_policy p{devices}; // (1)

  auto num_devices = p.get_resources().size();
  auto num_arrays = usm_data.size();
  // (2)
  auto submission_group_size = num_arrays;

  std::cout << "Running with " << num_devices << " queues\n"
            << "             " << num_arrays  << " usm arrays\n"
            << "Will perform " << submission_group_size << " concurrent offloads\n";

  for (int i = 0; i < 100; i+=submission_group_size) { // (3)
    for (int j = 0; j < submission_group_size; ++j) {  // (4)
      ex::submit(p, [&](sycl::queue q) { // (5)
        float *data = usm_data[j];
        return q.submit([=](sycl::handler &h) { // (6)
          f(h, data);
      do_cpu_work(); // (7)
    ex::wait(p.get_submission_group()); // (8)
  return 0;

The key points in this example are:

  1. A dynamic_load_policy is constructed that selects from queues in the devices vector.

  2. The total number of concurrent offloads, submission_group_size, will be limited to the number of USM arrays. In this example, we allow multiple simultaneous offloads to the same queue. The only limitation is that there should be enough available vectors to support the concurrent executions.

  3. The outer i-loop iterates from 0 to 99, stepping by the submission_group_size. This number of submissions will be offloaded concurrently.

  4. The inner j-loop iterates over submission_group_size submissions.

  5. submit is used to select a queue and pass it to the user’s function, but does not block until the event returned by that function completes. This provides the opportunity for concurrency across the submissions.

  6. The queue is used in a function to perform an asynchronous offload. The SYCL event returned from the call to submit is returned. Returning an event is required for functions passed to submit and submit_and_wait.

  7. Some additional work is done between calls to submit. dynamic_load_policy is most useful when there is time for work to complete on some devices before the next assignment is made. If all submissions are performed simultaneously, all devices will appear equally loaded, since the fast devices would have had no time to complete their work.

  8. wait is called to block for all the concurrent submission_group_size submissions to complete.

Selection Algorithm

The selection algorithm for dynamic_load_policy chooses the resource that has the fewest number of unfinished offloads. The number of unfinished offloads is the difference between the number of reported task submissions and then number of reported task completions. This value is tracked for each available resource.

Simplified, expository implementation of the selection algorithm:

template<typename... Args>
selection_type dynamic_load_policy::select(Args&& ...) {
  if (initialized_) {
    auto least_loaded_resource = find_least_loaded(resources_);
    return selection_type{dynamic_load_policy<Backend>(*this), least_loaded};
  } else {
    throw std::logic_error("select called before initialialization");

where resources_ is a container of resources, such as std::vector of sycl::queue. The function find_least_loaded iterates through the resources available to the policy and returns the resource with the fewest number of unfinished offloads.


dynamic_load_policy provides three constructors.

dynamic_load_policy constructors




Defers initialization. An initialize function must be called prior to use.


Initialized to use the default set of resources.

dynamic_load_policy(const std::vector<resource_type>& u);

Overrides the default set of resources.

Deferred Initialization

A dynamic_load_policy that was constructed with deferred initialization must be initialized by calling one of its initialize member functions before it can be used to select or submit.

dynamic_load_policy constructors




Initialize to use the default set of resources.

initialize(const std::vector<resource_type>& u);

Overrides the default set of resources.


A dynamic_load_policy has get_resources and get_submission_group member functions.

dynamic_load_policy constructors



std::vector<resource_type> get_resources();

Returns the set of resources the policy is selecting from.

auto get_submission_group();

Returns an object that can be used to wait for all active submissions.

Reporting Requirements

If a resource returned by select is used directly without calling submit or submit_and_wait, it may be necessary to call report to provide feedback to the policy. The dynamic_load_policy tracks the number of outstanding submissions on each device via callbacks that report when a submission is started, and when it is completed. The instrumentation to report these events is included in the implementations of submit and submit_and_wait. However, if you use select and then submit work directly to the selected resource, it is necessary to explicitly report these events.

dynamic_load_policy reporting requirements


is reporting required?







In generic code, it is possible to perform compile-time checks to avoid reporting overheads when reporting is not needed, while still writing code that will work with any policy, as demonstrated below:

auto s = select(my_policy);
if constexpr (report_info_v<decltype(s), execution_info::task_submission_t>)