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High Performance Linux Clusters with OSCAR, Rocks, OpenMosix, and MPI by Joseph D Sloan

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Chapter 15. Designing Parallel Programs

There are no silver bullets for parallel program design. While many parallel programs may appear to match one of several standard parallel program designs, every significant program will have its own quirks that make it unique. Nevertheless, parallel program design is the essential first step in writing parallel programs. This chapter will introduce you to some of the basics. This should provide help in getting started. Just remember there is a lot more to learn.

We are going to look at a couple of different ways of classifying or approaching problems in this chapter. While there is considerable overlap, these various schemes will provide you with different perspectives in the hope that they at least will suggest a solution or approach that may fit your individual needs.

Overview

Algorithm design is a crucial part of the development process for parallel programs. In many cases, the best serial algorithm can be easily parallelized, while in other cases a fundamentally different algorithm will be needed. In this chapter, we’ll focus on parallelizing a serial algorithm. Keep in mind that this may not provide the best solution to your problem. There are a number of very detailed books on parallel algorithm design, parallel programming in general, and on MPI programming in particular. Most have extensive examples. Whenever possible, you should look for an existing, optimized solution rather than trying to develop your own. This is particularly true ...

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