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Algorithms and Parallel Computing by Fayez Gebali

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3.11 COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PARALLEL PROCESSORS

We review in this section how parallel processors communicate and what type of communication strategies are available. Parallel processors need to exchange data among themselves in order to complete the tasks assigned to them.

3.11.1 Types of Communication

We can identify the following types of communication modes:

1. One to one (unicast)

2. One to many (multicast)

3. One to all (broadcast)

4. Gather

5. Reduce

Figure 3.8 shows the different types of modes of communications.

Figure 3.8 The different types or modes of communication among processors: (a) one to one, (b) one to many, (c) broadcast (one to all), and (d) gather and reduce.

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One to One (Unicast)

One-to-one operation involves a pair of processors: the sender and the receiver. This mode is sometimes referred to as point-to-point communication. We encounter this type of communication often in SIMD machines where each processor exchanges data with its neighbor. Figure 3.8a shows the one-to-one mode of communication between processors. The figure only shows communication among a pair of processors, but typically, all processors could be performing the one-to-one communication at the same time. This operation is typically performed in each iteration and therefore must be done efficiently. Most of the time, a simple exchange of data between the source and the destination register ...

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