Global arrays: A portable {open_quotes}shared-memory{close_quotes} programming model for distributed memory computers

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Portability, efficiency, and ease of coding are all important considerations in choosing the programming model for a scalable parallel application. The message-passing programming model is widely used because of its portability, yet some applications are too complex to code in it while also trying to maintain a balanced computation load and avoid redundant computations. The shared-memory programming model simplifies coding, but it is not portable and often provides little control over interprocessor data transfer costs. This paper describes a new approach, called Global Arrays (GA), that combines the better features of both other models, leading to both simple coding and ... continued below

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11 p.

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Harrison, R.J.; Nieplocha, J. & Littlefield, R.J. November 1, 1994.

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  • Pacific Northwest Laboratory
    Publisher Info: Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Richland, Washington

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Portability, efficiency, and ease of coding are all important considerations in choosing the programming model for a scalable parallel application. The message-passing programming model is widely used because of its portability, yet some applications are too complex to code in it while also trying to maintain a balanced computation load and avoid redundant computations. The shared-memory programming model simplifies coding, but it is not portable and often provides little control over interprocessor data transfer costs. This paper describes a new approach, called Global Arrays (GA), that combines the better features of both other models, leading to both simple coding and efficient execution. The key concept of GA is that it provides a portable interface through which each process in a MIMD parallel program can asynchronously access logical blocks of physically distributed matrices, with no need for explicit cooperation by other processes. The authors have implemented GA libraries on a variety of computer systems, including the Intel DELTA and Paragon, the IBM SP-1 (all message-passers), the Kendall Square KSR-2 (a nonuniform access shared-memory machine), and networks of Unix workstations. They discuss the design and implementation of these libraries, report their performance, illustrate the use of GA in the context of computational chemistry applications, and describe the use of a GA performance visualization tool.

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11 p.

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OSTI as DE95014622

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  • Supercomputing `94 meeting, Washington, DC (United States), 14-18 Nov 1994

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  • Other: DE95014622
  • Report No.: PNL-SA--24715
  • Report No.: CONF-941118--11
  • Grant Number: AC06-76RL01830
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 86863
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc794772

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  • November 1, 1994

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 19, 2015, 7:14 p.m.

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  • April 7, 2016, 2:44 p.m.

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Harrison, R.J.; Nieplocha, J. & Littlefield, R.J. Global arrays: A portable {open_quotes}shared-memory{close_quotes} programming model for distributed memory computers, article, November 1, 1994; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc794772/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.