An Executable Specification for the Message Processor in a Simple Combining Network.
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While the primary function of the network in a parallel computer is to communicate data between processors, it is often useful if the network can also perform rudimentary calculations. That is, some simple processing ability in the network itself, particularly for performing parallel prefix computations, can reduce both the volume of data being communicated and the computational load on the processors proper. Unfortunately, typical implementations of such networks require a large fraction of the hardware budget, and so combining networks are viewed as being impractical. The FFP Machine has such a combining network, and various characteristics of the machine allow a good deal of simplification in the network design. Despite being simple in construction however, the network relies on many subtle details to work correctly. This paper describes an executable model of the network which will serve several purposes. It provides a complete and detailed description of the network which can substantiate its ability to support necessary functions. It provides an environment in which algorithms to be run on the network can be designed and debugged more easily than they would on physical hardware. Finally, it provides the foundation for exploring the design of the message receiving facility which connects the network to the individual processors. KAR P. 2
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- Computer Systems