Bulk Synchronous Parallelism in Practice

A Tutorial at the ACM SAC 2000 Conference
Lake Como, Italy
Sunday March 19 2000, morning.

Presenter: D.B. Skillicorn
Department of Computing and Information Science
Queen's University, Kingston, Canada

Intended Audience

Increasingly, users of high performance computing are moving to clusters because of their cost-effectiveness. SPMD programming using a library for interaction and communication has proven a popular model for exploiting the power of clusters. Very often, the MPI library is used.

Bulk Synchronous Parallelism (BSP) has two main advantages over MPI:

This tutorial will be useful to those who use high-performance computing to solve practical problems, especially on clusters, because it will enable them to (a) get greater performance from their existing software and hardware, and make better choices about how to upgrade them, and (b) choose between different implementation techniques for applications at a high level, without having to build and benchmark many different variants.

Tutorial Outline

Presenter Background

David Skillicorn is a Professor in the Department of Computing and Information Science at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada where he has been for past sixteen years. His research interests centre around architecture-independent parallel programming, cost modelling, and non-numeric applications of parallelism. He has been involved with the design and performance measurement of the BSPLib toolset, which is the most popular implementation of the BSP approach. He uses parallel computation for data mining, in application areas such as process yield enhancement and legacy software comprehension.

Back to David Skillicorn's home page.