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A common complaint when dealing with the performance of computationally intensive scientific applications on parallel computers is that programs exist to predict the performance of radar systems, missiles and artillery shells, drugs, etc., but no one knows how to predict the performance of these applications on a parallel computer. Actually, that is not quite true. A more accurate statement is that no one knows how to predict the performance of these applications on a parallel computer in a reasonable amount of time. Penvelope is an attempt to remedy this situation. It is an extension to Amdahl's Law/Gustafson's work on scaled speedup that takes into account the cost of interprocessor communication and operating system overhead, yet is simple enough that it was implemented as an Excel spreadsheet.
Date of Conference: 7-11 June 2004