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An interface to a reliable packet delivery service for parallel systems

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3 Author(s)
Debbage, M. ; Archit. Group, INMOS Ltd., Bristol, UK ; Hill, M.B. ; Nicole, D.A.

Modern distributed memory parallel computers provide hardware support for the efficient and reliable delivery of interprocessor messages. This facility needs to be accessed by lightweight protocols that do not waste the performance of the underlying hardware; the heavyweight layering techniques traditionally used in distributed systems are wholly inappropriate. A low-level communication interface is therefore presented which exploits modern architectures effectively, while maintaining a good match to existing parallel programming environments. The interface defines mechanisms to access an asynchronous reliable packet delivery service. It permits messaging protocols to be efficiently synthesized by considering the activity at their end-points alone. This arrangement effectively decouples the implementation of protocols from low-level architectural features, and hence aids the portability of parallel programming environments. Furthermore, the interface allows the communication network to be shared by multiple programming paradigms, giving additional flexibility over existing systems

Published in:

Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 4 )