Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor 1

Zhuo Feng

Advisor 2

Glen E. Archer

Committee Member 1

Jiguang Sun

Committee Member 2

Chee-Wooi Ten

Committee Member 3

Benjamin W. Ong

Committee Member 4

Saeid Nooshabadi


Recent research shows that by leveraging the key spectral properties of eigenvalues and eigenvectors of graph Laplacians, more efficient algorithms can be developed for tackling many graph-related computing tasks. In this dissertation, spectral methods are utilized for achieving faster algorithms in the applications of very-large-scale integration (VLSI) computer-aided design (CAD)

First, a scalable algorithmic framework is proposed for effective-resistance preserving spectral reduction of large undirected graphs. The proposed method allows computing much smaller graphs while preserving the key spectral (structural) properties of the original graph. Our framework is built upon the following three key components: a spectrum-preserving node aggregation and reduction scheme, a spectral graph sparsification framework with iterative edge weight scaling, as well as effective-resistance preserving post-scaling and iterative solution refinement schemes. We show that the resultant spectrally-reduced graphs can robustly preserve the first few nontrivial eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the original graph Laplacian and thus allow for developing highly-scalable spectral graph partitioning and circuit simulation algorithms.

Based on the framework of the spectral graph reduction, a Sparsified graph-theoretic Algebraic Multigrid (SAMG) is proposed for solving large Symmetric Diagonally Dominant (SDD) matrices. The proposed SAMG framework allows efficient construction of nearly-linear sized graph Laplacians for coarse-level problems while maintaining good spectral approximation during the AMG setup phase by leveraging a scalable spectral graph sparsification engine. Our experimental results show that the proposed method can offer more scalable performance than existing graph-theoretic AMG solvers for solving large SDD matrices in integrated circuit (IC) simulations, 3D-IC thermal analysis, image processing, finite element analysis as well as data mining and machine learning applications.

Finally, the spectral methods are applied to power grid and thermal integrity verification applications. This dissertation introduces a vectorless power grid and thermal integrity verification framework that allows computing worst-case voltage drop or thermal profiles across the entire chip under a set of local and global workload (power density) constraints. To address the computational challenges introduced by the large 3D mesh-structured thermal grids, we apply the spectral graph reduction approach for highly-scalable vectorless thermal (or power grids) verification of large chip designs. The effectiveness and efficiency of our approach have been demonstrated through extensive experiments.