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Performance evaluation of networks of workstations with hardware shared memory model using execution-driven simulation

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4 Author(s)
J. Flich ; Dept. de Sistemas Inf. y Comput., Univ. Politecnica de Valencia, Spain ; M. P. Malumbres ; P. Lopez ; J. Duato

Networks of workstations (NOWs) are becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective alternative to parallel computers. Typically, these networks connect processors using irregular topologies, providing the wiring flexibility, scalability, and incremental expansion capability required in this environment. Similar to the evolution of parallel computers, NOWs are also evolving from distributed memory to shared memory programming model. However, physical distances between processors are longer in NOWs than in tightly-coupled distributed shared-memory multiprocessors (DSMs), leading to higher message latency and lower network bandwidth. Therefore, the network may be a bottleneck when executing some parallel applications in a NOW supporting a shared-memory programming paradigm. In this paper we analyze whether the interconnection network is able to efficiently handle the traffic generated in a NOW with the shared memory model. In particular, we are interested in analyzing the influence of the routing mechanism in the performance of the system. We evaluate the behavior of a NOW with irregular topology by means of an execution-driven simulator using SPLASH-2 applications as the input load. The results show that the routing algorithm can considerably reduce the total execution time of applications. In particular routing adaptivity can reduce the total execution time by 58% in some applications. These results confirm the behavior observed in previous works using synthetic traffic loads

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Parallel Processing, 1999. Proceedings. 1999 International Conference on

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