Parallel Programming

Authored by: Hans Vandierendonck , Dimitrios S. Nikolopoulos , Polyvios Pratikakis

Encyclopedia of Software Engineering

Print publication date:  November  2010
Online publication date:  November  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420059779
eBook ISBN: 9781351249270
Adobe ISBN:


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Recent trends in computing systems, such as multi-core processors and cloud computing, expose tens to thousands of processors to the software. Software developers must respond by introducing parallelism in their software. To obtain highest performance, it is not only necessary to identify parallelism, but also to reason about synchronization between threads and the communication of data from one thread to another. This entry gives an overview on some of the most common abstractions that are used in parallel programming, namely explicit vs. implicit expression of parallelism and shared and distributed memory. Several parallel programming models are reviewed and categorized by means of these abstractions. The pros and cons of parallel programming models from the perspective of performance and programmability are discussed.

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