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Proceedings Fifth International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture (1999)
Orlando, Florida
Jan. 9, 1999 to Jan. 12, 1999
ISBN: 0-7695-0004-8
pp: 182
This paper proposes a novel queue-based programming abstraction, Parallel Dispatch Queue (PDQ), that enables efficient parallel execution of fine-grain software communication protocols. Parallel systems often use fine-grain software handlers to integrate a network message into computation. Executing such handlers in parallel requires access synchronization around resources. Much as a monitor construct in a concurrent language protects accesses to a set of data structures, PDQ allows messages to include a synchronization key protecting handler accesses to a group of protocol resources. By simply synchronizing messages in a queue prior to dispatch, PDQ not only eliminates the overhead of acquiring/releasing synchronization primitives but also prevents busy-waiting within handlers.In this paper, we study PDQ's impact on software protocol performance in the context of fine-grain distributed shared memory (DSM) on an SMP cluster. Simulation results running shared-memory applications indicate that: (i) parallel software protocol execution using PDQ significantly improves performance in fine-grain DSM, (ii) tight integration of PDQ and embedded processors into a single custom device can offer performance competitive or better than an all-hardware DSM, and (iii) PDQ best benefits cost-effective systems that use idle SMP processors (rather than custom embedded processors) to execute protocols. On a cluster of 4 16-way SMPs, a PDQ-based parallel protocol running on idle SMP processors improves application performance by a factor of 2.6 over a system running a serial protocol on a single dedicated processor.

D. A. Wood and B. Falsafi, "Parallel Dispatch Queue: A Queue-Based Programming Abstraction To Parallelize Fine-Grain Communication Protocols," Proceedings Fifth International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture(HPCA), Orlando, Florida, 1999, pp. 182.
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