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Published November 1996 | metadata_only
Book Section - Chapter

Multimethod Communication for High-Performance Metacomputing Applications


Metacomputing systems use high-speed net works to connect supercomputers, mass storage systems, scientific instruments, and display devices with the objective of enabling parallel applications to access geographically distributed computing resources. However, experience shows that high performance often can be achieved only if applications can integrate diverse communication substrates, transport mechanisms, and protocols, chosen according to where communication is directed, what is communicated, or when communication is performed. In this article, we describe a software architecture that addresses this requirement. This architecture allows multiple communication methods to be supported transparently in a single application, with either automatic or user-specified selection criteria guiding the methods used for each communication. We describe an implementation of this architecture, based on the Nexus communication library, and use this implementation to evaluate performance issues. The implementation supported a wide variety of applications in the I-WAY metacomputing experiment at Supercomputing 95; we use one of these applications to provide a quantitative demonstration of the advantages of multimethod communication in a heterogeneous networked environment.

Additional Information

© 1996 IEEE. Our understanding of multimethod communication issues has benefited greatly from discussions with Steve Schwab, who prototyped AAL5, UDP, and Myricom modules. We also thank John Anderson, Robert Jacob, and Chad Schafer for making the coupled model available to us, and Michael Plastino for performing the coupled model measurements. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation's Center for Research in Parallel Computation, under Contract CCR-8809615, and by the Mathematical, Information, and Computational Sciences Division subprogram of the Office of Computational and Technology Research, U.S. Department of Energy, under Contract W-31-109-Eng-38.

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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023