A Pilot Study to Compare Programming Effort for Two Parallel Programming Models (PREPRINT)
Journal article (preprint)
NEBRASKA UNIV AT OMAHA DEPT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
Pagination or Media Count:
CONTEXT Writing software for the current generation of parallel systems requires significant programmer effort, and the community is seeking alternatives that reduce effort while still achieving good performance. OBJECTIVE Measure the effect of parallel programming models message-passing vs. PRAM-like on programmer effort. DESIGN, SETTING, and SUBJECTS One group of subjects implemented sparse-matrix dense-vector multiplication using message-passing MPI, and a second group solved the same problem using a PRAM-like model XMTC. The subjects were students in two graduate-level classes one class was taught MPI and the other was taught XMTC. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Development time, program correctness. RESULTS Mean XMTC development time was 4.8 hours less than mean MPI development time 95 confidence interval, 2.0-7.7, a 46 reduction. XMTC programs were more likely to be correct, but the difference in correctness rates was not statistically significant p.16. CONCLUSIONS XMTC solutions for this particular problem required less effort than MPI equivalents, but further studies are necessary which examine different types of problems and different levels of programmer experience.
- Computer Programming and Software