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Title: Achieving parallel performance in scientific computations
Author: Clarke, Lyndon J.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1990
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The exploitation of high performance computing will be a major factor in the future advancement of science as computational methods are increasingly becoming a third discipline alongside theory and experiment. Despite advances which are being made in VLSI technology, enabling the construction of faster uniprocessor machines, it is now widely recognised that the future of high performance computing will be dominated by parallel architectures. It is of prime importance that the scientific community is able to effectively program such machines. In the case of distributed memory MIMD architectures support is required for arbitrary communictions between processing entities located at different processors, and operating on data stored in different memory units. If a message routing facility is not available in hardware it is necessary to provide a software implementation. Where this facility is available in hardware then a layer of software is required which presents the programmer with an interface in this hardware. This thesis discusses a number of issues which arise in the implementation of message routing systems and the application interface. We have constructed such a system for use on arrays of INMOS transputers, called TINY, and the methods used in the implementation of this software are described. The system shares processor time with the application and we demonstrate that the processor bandwidth required by TINY is very small. We have selected a concrete, but simple, application which utilises the services provided by this system. The implementation of this application was considerably simplified by the use of TINY and we show that the overheads induced by this software layer are insignificant. The application selected performs rendering of space filing molecular models, reflecting the growing importance of visualisation in science.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available