Language and run-time support for network parallel computing

Peter A. Dinda, David R. O’Hallaron, Jaspal Subhlok, Jon A. Webb, Bwolen Yang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Network parallel computing is the use of diverse computing resources interconnected by general purpose networks to run parallel applications. This paper describes NetFx, an extension of the Fx compiler system which uses the Fx model of task parallelism to distribute and manage computations across the sequential and parallel machines of a network. A central problem in network parallel computing is that the compiler is presented with a heterogeneous and dynamic target. Our approach is based on a novel run-time system that presents a simple communication interface to the compiler, yet uses compiler knowledge to customize communication between tasks executing over the network. The runtime system is designed to support complete applications developed with different compilers and parallel program generators. It presents a standard communication interface for point-to-point transfer of distributed data sets between tasks. This allows the compiler to be portable, and enables communication generation without knowledge of exactly how the tasks will be mapped at run-time and what low level communication primitives will be used. The compiler also generates a set of custom routines, called address computation functions, to translate between different data distributions. The run-time system performs the actual communication using a mix of generic and custom address computation functions depending on run-time parameters like the type and number of nodes assigned to the communicating tasks and the data distributions of the variables being communicated. This mechanism enables the run-time system to exploit compile-time optimizations, and enables the compiler to manage foreign tasks that use non-standard data distributions. We outline several important applications of network parallel computing and describe the NetFx programming model and run-time system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLanguages and Compilers for Parallel Computing - 8th International Workshop, LCPC 1995, Proceedings
EditorsUtpal Banerjee, Chua-Huang Huang, Ponnuswamy Sadayappan, Alex Nicolau, David Padua, David Gelernter
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783540607656
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Event8th International Workshop on Languages and Compilers for Parallel Computing, LCPC 1995 - Columbus, United States
Duration: Aug 10 1995Aug 12 1995

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other8th International Workshop on Languages and Compilers for Parallel Computing, LCPC 1995
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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