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Title: Adding safe and effective load balancing to multicomputers
Author: Martin, Paul
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1994
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In the quest for ever greater cost-effectiveness researchers have begun to experiment with scaleable, parallel architectures known as 'multicomputers'. The underlying assumption is that adding more processors to a computer is a cheap way to increase the problem size which it can tackle and /or decrease the execution time. However, results to date are less good than those hoped for, indicating that there are still a number of difficulties to be resolved. One problem in particular is felt by experienced multicomputer programmers looking for significant execution time speed-ups: effort must be expended to tune a program for the underlying architecture if the work is to be evenly distributed between the processors. Fortunately, a solution to this problem can be found in dynamic load balancing, a mechanism for redistributing work between processors automatically and transparently, allowing the programmer to develop fast, portable programs without having to worry about performance tuning. This thesis examines the many issues associated with adding load balancing to multicomputers and makes the following contributions. Firstly, a critical review of the literature on load balancing showing the techniques proposed and suggesting which are the most promising for future systems. Secondly, a detailed description of how a typical multicomputer operating system needs to be extended in order to be able to checkpoint a task on one processor and restart it on another. Thirdly, a study of the impact on performance of these extensions to the operating system functionality. Fourthly, an investigation into the use of formal methods for designing and verifying the protocols for exchange of tasks between processors. Lastly, a report on the best methods for detecting processor load imbalances and for deciding which user tasks to move. Thus, the thesis addresses all aspects of adding safe and effective load balancing to multicomputers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available