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Experiments with Dataflow on a General-Purpose Parallel Computer.
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE LAB
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The MIT J-Machine, a massively-parallel computer, is an experiment in providing general-purpose mechanisms for communication, synchronization, and naming that will support a wide variety of parallel models of computation. Having universal mechanisms allows the separation of issues of language design and machine organization. We have developed two experimental dataflow programming systems for the J-Machine. For the first system, we adapted Papadopoulos explicit token store to implement static and then dynamic dataflow. Each node in a dataflow graph is expanded into a sequence of code, each of which is scheduled individually at runtime. For a later system, we made use of Iannuccis hybrid execution model to combine several dataflow graph nodes into a single sequence, decreasing scheduling overhead. By combining the strengths of the two systems, it is possible to produce a system with competitive performance. We have demonstrated the feasibility of efficiently executing dataflow programs on a general purpose parallel computer.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE