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4. Computational Environments

A distributed version of the CSI-MSVD algorithm as described in Section 3 was implemented using PVM, the Parallel Virtual Machine [9]. The objective was to produce a portable implementation that could be used across multiple platforms. PVM is a software package developed at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that permits a heterogeneous collection of Unix computers linked together by a network to be used as a single large virtually parallel computer. PVM was chosen as the software environment because of its modularity, portability and immediate availability.

Although PVM running on a network of workstations can provide a low cost environment for algorithm development, the associated high message-passing overhead can render this model infeasible for the solution of large-scale problems. However, the wide-spread use of PVM in the scientific/engineering community, has motivated the vendors of massively parallel computers to provide optimized implementations of PVM on massively parallel processing (MPP) platforms. The Cray T3D is one such platform that supports message-passing based on the PVM model. A description of the Cray T3D and significant differences between PVM models available on networked-workstations and on the Cray T3D are documented in [6,22].

Michael W. Berry (
Sun May 19 11:34:27 EDT 1996