In this section, we present a theoretical model of a parallel computer dedicated to dense linear algebra. This model is from an abstraction of physical models. This ideal model provides a convenient framework for developing parallel algorithms without worrying about the implementation details or physical constraints. However, we defined this restricted model such that actual code should be easily produced from it.
The model can be applied to obtain theoretical performance bounds on parallel computers or to estimate the execution time before or after the algorithm has been implemented. The abstract model is also useful in scalability and programmability analysis.
A -process DLAM is constructed out of ``BLAS-processes'' interconnected by a logical ``BLACS-network''. This network is a logical mesh such that . Data are exchanged between BLAS processes through the BLACS network by calling BLACS primitives. The processes can only perform BLAS and BLACS operations.
The DLAM presented here could be very easily extended by adding a host process. This host process could act like a server acting upon a user request, creating the BLACS-network, distributing the data, starting the BLAS-processes and collecting the results. This host process could also be used for fault-tolerant applications. In this case, it would take the appropriate course of action in the case of a BLAS-process failure. In the following sections, however, we describe only the hostless DLAM.