Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1999

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Sciences - (Ph.D.)


Computer and Information Science

First Advisor

Andrew Sohn

Second Advisor

David Nassimi

Third Advisor

James A. McHugh

Fourth Advisor

MengChu Zhou

Fifth Advisor

Yunheung Paek


Parallel computing is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in recent years. The sizes of application problems continuously increase for solving real-world problems. Distributed-memory multiprocessors have been regarded as a viable architecture of scalable and economical design for building large scale parallel machines. While these parallel machines can provide computational capabilities, programming such large-scale machines is often very difficult due to many practical issues including parallelization, data distribution, workload distribution, and remote memory latency.

This thesis proposes to solve the programmability and performance issues of distributed-memory machines using the Sisal functional language. The programs written in Sisal will be automatically parallelized, scheduled and run on distributed-memory multiprocessors with no programmer intervention. Specifically, the proposed approach consists of the following steps. Given a program written in Sisal, the front end Sisal compiler generates a directed acyclic graph(DAG) to expose parallelism in the program. The DAG is partitioned and scheduled based on loop parallelism. The scheduled DAG is then translated to C programs with machine specific parallel constructs. The parallel C programs are finally compiled by the target machine specific compilers to generate executables.

A distributed-memory parallel machine, the 80-processor ETL EM-X, has been chosen to perform experiments. The entire procedure has been implemented on the EMX multiprocessor. Four problems are selected for experiments: bitonic sorting, search, dot-product and Fast Fourier Transform. Preliminary execution results indicate that automatic parallelization of the Sisal programs based on loop parallelism is effective. The speedup for these four problems is ranging from 17 to 60 on a 64-processor EM-X. Preliminary experimental results further indicate that programming distributed-memory multiprocessors using a functional language indeed frees the programmers from lowl-evel programming details while allowing them to focus on algorithmic performance improvement.



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