Parallelisation of algorithms

Schuilenburg, Alexander Marius (1990)


Most numerical software involves performing an extremely large volume of algebraic computations. This is both costly and time consuming in respect of computer resources and, for large problems, often super-computer power is required in order for results to be obtained in a reasonable amount of time. One method whereby both the cost and time can be reduced is to use the principle "Many hands make light work", or rather, allow several computers to operate simultaneously on the code, working towards a common goal, and hopefully obtaining the required results in a fraction of the time and cost normally used. This can be achieved through the modification of the costly, time consuming code, breaking it up into separate individual code segments which may be executed concurrently on different processors. This is termed parallelisation of code. This document describes communication between sequential processes, protocols, message routing and parallelisation of algorithms. In particular, it deals with these aspects with reference to the Transputer as developed by INMOS and includes two parallelisation examples, namely parallelisation of code to study airflow and of code to determine far field patterns of antennas. This document also reports on the practical experiences with programming in parallel.