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Inria / Raweb 2003
Project: PARIS

Project : paris

Section: Scientific Foundations

High-performance communication

High-performance communication [74] is uttermost crucial for parallel computing. However, it is less important in distributed computing, whereas interoperability is more important. The quest for high-performance communication has led to the development of specific hardware technologies along the years: SCI, Myrinet-1, VIA, Myrinet-2000, InfiniBand, etc. A dedicated low-level communication library is often required to fully benefit from the hardware specific feature: GM or BIP for Myrinet, SISCI for SCI, etc. To face the diversity of low level communication libraries, research has focused on generic high-performance environments such as Active Message (Univ. of Berkeley), Fast Message (Univ. of Illinois), Madeleine (LaBRI, Bordeaux), Panda/Ibis (Univ. of Amsterdam) and Nexus (Globus Toolkit). Such generic environments are usually not assumed to be directly used by a programmer. Higher-level communication environment are specifically designed: PVM, Mpi or software DSM such as TreadMarks are such examples in the field of parallel computing. While high performance communication research has mainly focused on system-area networks, the emergence of grid computing enlarges its focus to wide-area networks and, more specifically, to high-bandwidth, wide-area networks. Research is needed to efficiently utilize such networks. Some examples are adaptive dynamic compression algorithms, and especially parallel stream communication.

Previous work [73] has shown that high-performance communication not only require an adequate communication library, but also demand some cooperation with the thread scheduler. It is particular important as more and more middleware systems as well as applications are multithreaded. Another related issue, which devotes further research, is to minimize network reactivity without generating too much overhead.