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Next: 13.2.3 Dependence-based Data Partitioning Up: A Software Tool Previous: 13.2.1 Is Any Assistance

13.2.2 Overview of the Tool

When using the tool we envision, the programmer will select a program segment for analysis, and the system will provide assistance in choosing an efficient data partitioning for the computation in that program segment, for various problem sizes. In a first step, the user determines a set of reasonable partitionings based on the data dependence  information and interprocedural analysis information provided by the tool. An important component of the system is the performance estimation module, which is subsequently used to select the best partitionings and distributions from among those examined. In the present version, the do loop is the only kind of program segment that can be selected. For simplicity, the set of possible partitions of an array is restricted to regular rectangular patterns such as by row, by column, or by block for a two-dimensional array and their higher dimensional analogs for arrays of larger dimensions. This permits the examination of all reasonable partitionings of the data in an acceptable amount of time.

The tool will permit the user to generalize from local partitionings to layouts for an entire program in easy steps, using repartitioning and redistribution whenever it leads to a better performance overall. In addition, the tool will support many program transformations that can lead to more efficient data layouts.

The principal value of such an environment for data partitioning and distribution is that it supports an exploratory programming style in which the user can experiment with different data partitioning strategies, and estimate the effect of each strategy for different input data sizes or different target machines without having to change the program or run the program each time.

Guy Robinson
Wed Mar 1 10:19:35 EST 1995