Active Messages: A Mechanism for Integrated Communication and Computation

 

In Proceedings of the 19th International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA)

Thorsten von Eicken, David E. Culler, Seth Copen Goldstein, and Klaus Erik Schauser

pages 430–440, Gold Coast, Australia

May, 1992

Abstract


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@inproceedings{voneicken-isca92,
  author = {von~Eicken, Thorsten and Culler, David E. and Goldstein,
     Seth Copen and Schauser, Klaus Erik},
  title = {{Active Messages}: A Mechanism for Integrated Communication
     and Computation},
  month = {May},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the 19th International Symposium on
     Computer Architecture (ISCA)},
  address = {Gold Coast, Australia},
  pages = {430--440},
  year = {1992},
  url = {http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~seth/papers/voneicken-isca92.pdf},
  abstract = {The design challenge for large-scale multiprocessors is
     (1) to minimize communication overhead, (2) allow communication
     to overlap computation, and (3) coordinate the two without
     sacrificing processor cost/performance. We show that existing
     message passing multiprocessors have unnecessarily high
     communication costs. Research prototypes of message driven
     machines demonstrate low communication overhead, but poor
     processor cost/performance. We introduce a simple communication
     mechanism, {\em Active Messages}, show that it is intrinsic to
     both architectures, allows cost effective use of the hardware,
     and offers tremendous flexibility. Implementations on nCUBE/2 and
     CM-5 are described and evaluated using a split-phase
     shared-memory extension to C, {\em Split-C}. We further show that
     active messages are sufficient to implement the dynamically
     scheduled languages for which message driven machines were
     designed. With this mechanism, latency tolerance becomes a
     programming/compiling concern. Hardware support for active
     messages is desirable and we outline a range of enhancements to
     mainstream processors.},
  keywords = {Active Messages, Parallel Computing}
}

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