Parallel Processing using


Parallel Processing refers to the concept of speeding-up the execution of a program by dividing the program into multiple fragments that can execute simultaneously, each on its own processor. A program being executed across n processors might execute n times faster than it would using a single processor.

Despite rough times for some high-end parallel processing hardware companies, parallel processing is not dead, but is moving in some new directions. Traditionally, multiple processors were provided within a specially designed "parallel computer"; along these lines, Linux now supports SMP Pentium systems in which multiple processors share a single memory and bus interface within a single computer. It is also possible for a group of machines each running Linux to be interconnected by a network to form a parallel-processing cluster. The third alternative uses a Linux system as a "host" for a specialized attached parallel processor. All these approaches will be discussed at this WWW site.

Along with the Linux Parallel Processing HOWTO and abstracted lists of URLs, we would like this site to become a repository for the kinds of practical information real users need. Most research groups focus on one aspect of parallel processing; in contrast, for this site we prefer submissions discussing complete parallel environments that integrate hardware configuration, parallel OS functions, libraries & languages, parallel I/O, and applications. This WWW site is also intended to keep a list of open problems that have been identified, with the hope that various researchers might cooperate to solve these problems. In the long term, the goal of this effort is to spawn one or more complete "parallel processing" distributions of Linux... there are already quite a few sites currently using Linux for parallel processing.

On August 16, 1996, Prof. Hank Dietz presented the full-day tutorial High-Performance Parallel Processing Using PCs and Linux at the 25th International Conference on Parallel Processing, in Bloomingdale, IL. An HTML version of the slides is available for personal WWW viewing. Accompanying the slides is a tar file containing support software for SMP and cluster parallel Linux systems (much of which also can be used to simulate parallelism on uniprocessor systems).

To submit a document or annotated URL reference, or if you have any questions or comments, please email to

There is now a European mirror of this site at:

Interested in learning more about parallel processing or in presenting your latest parallel processing research results with a high-quality peer-reviewed conference publication? The 26th International Conference on Parallel Processing will be held August 11-15, 1997 in Bloomingdale, IL. The CFP deadline is January 10, 1997 for hardcopy submission and January 20, 1997 for electronic.


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