Parallel Programming Models
These slides are based on the book:
Introduction to Parallel Computing,
Livermore National Laboratory
arallel programming models in common use:
Parallel programming models are abstractions above
hardware and memory architectures.
Shared Memory Model
Tasks share a common address space, which they
read and write asynchronously.
Various mechanisms such as locks / semaphores
may be used to control access to the shared
An advantage of this model from the
programmer's point of view is that the notion of
data "ownership" is lacking, so there is no need
to specify explicitly the communication of data
Program development can often be simplified.
Is difficult to understand and manage data
Keeping data local to the processor that works on
it conserves memory accesses, cache refreshes
and bus traffic that occurs when multiple
processors use the same data.
Unfortunately, controlling data locality is hard to
understand and beyond the control of the average
The native compilers translate user program
variables into actual memory addresses,
which are global.
Common distributed memory platform
implementations does not exist.
A shared memory view of data even though
the physical memory of the machine was
distributed, impended as
A single process can have
The main program loads and
acquires all of the necessary
system and user resources .
It performs some serial work,
and then creates a number of
tasks (threads) that run
The word of a thread can be described as a subroutine
within the main program.
All the thread shares the memory space
Each thread has local data.
They save the overhead of replicating the program's
Threads communicate with each other through global
Threads requires synchronization constructs to insure that
more than one thread is not updating the same global
address at any time.
Threads can come and go, but main thread remains present
to provide the necessary shared resources until the
application has completed.
Message Passing Model
Message Passing Model
A set of tasks that use
their own local memory
Multiple tasks can reside
on the same physical
machine as well across an
arbitrary number of
Message Passing Model
Tasks exchange data through communications
by sending and receiving messages.
Data transfer usually requires cooperative
operations to be performed by each process.
The communication processes may exist on
the same machine of different machines
Data Parallel Model
Most of the parallel work
focuses on performing
operations on a data set.
The data set is typically
organized into a
A set of tasks work
collectively on the same
data structure, each task
works on a different
partition of the same data
Data Parallel Model Cont.
Tasks perform the same operation on their
partition of work.
On shared memory architectures, all tasks
may have access to the data structure through
global memory. On distributed memory
architectures the data structure is split up and
resides as "chunks" in the local memory of
Designing Parallel Algorithms
The programmer is typically responsible for
both identifying and actually implementing
Manually developing parallel codes is a time
consuming, complex, error
prone and iterative
Currently, The most common type of tool used
to automatically parallelize a serial program is
a parallelizing compiler or pre
A parallelizing compiler
The compiler analyzes the source code and identifies
opportunities for parallelism.
The analysis includes identifying inhibitors to parallelism and
possibly a cost weighting on whether or not the parallelism
would actually improve performance.
Loops (do, for) loops are the most frequent target for automatic
Using "compiler directives" or possibly compiler flags, the
programmer explicitly tells the compiler how to parallelize the
May be able to be used in conjunction with some degree of
automatic parallelization also.
Automatic Parallelization Limitations
Wrong results may be produced
Performance may actually degrade
Much less flexible than manual parallelization
Limited to a subset (mostly loops) of code
May actually not parallelize code if the
analysis suggests there are inhibitors or the
code is too complex
The Problem & The
Determine whether or not the problem is one that can actually be
Identify the program's
Know where most of the real work is being done.
Profilers and performance analysis tools can help here
Focus on parallelizing the hotspots and ignore those sections of the
program that account for little CPU usage.
in the program
Identify areas where the program is slow, or bounded.
May be possible to restructure the program or use a different
algorithm to reduce or eliminate unnecessary slow areas
Identify inhibitors to parallelism. One common class of inhibitor is
, as demonstrated by the Fibonacci sequence.
Investigate other algorithms if possible. This may be the single most
important consideration when designing a parallel application.
Break the problem into discrete "chunks" of
work that can be distributed to multiple tasks.
The data associated with
a problem is
Each parallel task then
works on a portion of the
This partition could be
done in different ways.
Row, Columns, Blocks,
The problem is
to the work that must
be done. Each task
then performs a
portion of the overall
Cost of communications
Latency vs. Bandwidth
Visibility of communications
Synchronous vs. asynchronous communications
Scope of communications
Efficiency of communications
Overhead and Complexity
Lock / semaphore
Synchronous communication operations
A dependence exists between program
statements when the order of statement
execution affects the results of the program.
A data dependence results from multiple use
of the same location(s) in storage by different
Dependencies are important to parallel
programming because they are one of the
primary inhibitors to parallelism.
Load balancing refers to the practice of
distributing work among tasks so that all tasks
are kept busy all of the time. It can be
considered a minimization of task idle time.
Load balancing is important to parallel
programs for performance reasons. For
example, if all tasks are subject to a barrier
synchronization point, the slowest task will
determine the overall performance.