Utilizing heterogeneous networks in distributed parallel computing systems

J. S. Kim, D. J. Lilja

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Heterogeneity is becoming quite common in distributed parallel computing systems, both in processor architectures and in communication networks. Different types of networks have different performance characteristics, while different types of messages may have different communication requirements. In this work, we analyze two techniques for exploiting these heterogeneous characteristics and requirements to reduce the communication overhead of parallel application programs executed on distributed computing systems. The performance based path selection (PBPS) technique selects the best (lowest latency) network among several for each individual message, while the second technique aggregates multiple networks into a single virtual network. We present a general approach for applying and evaluating these techniques to a distributed computing system with multiple interprocessor communication networks. We also generate performance curves for a cluster of IBM workstations interconnected with Ethernet, ATM, and Fibre Channel networks. As we show with several of the NAS benchmarks, these curves can be used to estimate the potential improvement in communication performance that can be obtained with these techniques, given some simple communication characteristics. of an application program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-345
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing, Proceedings
StatePublished - 1997
EventProceedings of the 1997 6th IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing - Portland, OR, USA
Duration: Aug 5 1997Aug 8 1997


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