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Closing Notes

Module by: Charles Severance, Kevin Dowd. E-mail the authors

You already knew there was a limit to the amount of parallelism in any given program. Now you know why. Clearly, if a program had no dependencies, you could execute the whole thing at once, given suitable hardware. But programs aren’t infinitely parallel; they are often hardly parallel at all. This is because they contain dependencies of the types we saw above.

When we are writing and/or tuning our loops, we have a number of (sometimes conflicting) goals to keep in mind:

  • Balance memory operations and computations.
  • Minimize unnecessary operations.
  • Access memory using unit stride if at all possible.
  • Allow all of the loop iterations to be computed in parallel.

In the coming chapters, we will begin to learn more about executing our programs on parallel multiprocessors. At some point we will escape the bonds of compiler automatic optimization and begin to explicitly code the parallel portions of our code.

To learn more about compilers and dataflow, read The Art of Compiler Design: Theory and Practice by Thomas Pittman and James Peters (Prentice-Hall).

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Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

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