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Program structuring for effective parallel portability

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2 Author(s)
Alverson, G.A. ; Tera Comput. Co., Seattle, WA, USA ; Notkin, D.

The tension between software development costs and efficiency is especially high when considering parallel programs intended to run on a variety of architectures. In the domain of shared memory architectures and explicitly parallel programs, the authors have addressed this problem by defining a programming structure that eases the development of effectively portable programs. On each target multiprocessor, an effectively portable program runs almost as efficiently as a program fine-tuned for that machine. Additionally, its software development cost is close to that of a single program that is portable across the targets. Using this model, programs are defined in terms of data structure and partitioning-scheduling abstractions. Low software development cost is attained by writing source programs in terms of abstract interfaces and thereby requiring minimal modification to port; high performance is attained by matching (often dynamically) the interfaces to implementations that are most appropriate to the execution environment. The authors include results of a prototype used to evaluate the benefits and costs of this approach

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Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 9 )