Communicable Memory and Lazy Barriers for Bulk Synchronous Parallelism in BSPk
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Citation (published version)Fahmy, Amr; Heddaya, Abdelsalam. "Management of Communicable Memory and Lazy Barriers for Bulk Synchronous Parallelism in BSPk", Technical Report BUCS-1996-012, Computer Science Department, Boston University, September 20, 1996. [Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/1588]
Communication and synchronization stand as the dual bottlenecks in the performance of parallel systems, and especially those that attempt to alleviate the programming burden by incurring overhead in these two domains. We formulate the notions of communicable memory and lazy barriers to help achieve efficient communication and synchronization. These concepts are developed in the context of BSPk, a toolkit library for programming networks of workstations|and other distributed memory architectures in general|based on the Bulk Synchronous Parallel (BSP) model. BSPk emphasizes efficiency in communication by minimizing local memory-to-memory copying, and in barrier synchronization by not forcing a process to wait unless it needs remote data. Both the message passing (MP) and distributed shared memory (DSM) programming styles are supported in BSPk. MP helps processes efficiently exchange short-lived unnamed data values, when the identity of either the sender or receiver is known to the other party. By contrast, DSM supports communication between processes that may be mutually anonymous, so long as they can agree on variable names in which to store shared temporary or long-lived data.