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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Improving parallel program performance using critical path analysis

  • Author(s): Kwan, Andrew W.;
  • Bic, Lubomir;
  • Gajski, Daniel D.
  • et al.

A programming tool that performs analysis of critical paths for parallel programs has been developed. This tool determines the critical path for the program as scheduled onto a parallel computer with P processing elements, the critical path for the program expressed as a data flow graph (when maximal parallelism can be expressed), and the minimum number of processing elements (P_opt) needed to obtain maximum program speedup. Experiments were performed using several versions of a Gaussian elimination program to examine how speedup varied with changes in granularity and critical path length. These experiments showed that when the available numer of processing elements P < P_opt, increasing granularity improved program speedup more than reducing (the data flow graph's) critical path length, whereas when P ≥ P_opt, increasing granularity degraded program speedup while reducing critical path length improved program speedup.

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