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PVM [2] was produced by the Heterogeneous Network Project--a collaborative effort by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee, and Emory University specifically to facilitate heterogeneous parallel computing. PVM was one of the first software systems to enable machines with widely different architectures and floating-point representations to work together on a single computational task. It can be used on its own or as a foundation upon which other heterogeneous network software can be built.

The PVM package is small (about than 1 Mbytes of C source code) and easy to install. It needs to be installed only once on each machine to be accessible to all users. Moreover, the installation does not require special privileges on any of the machines and thus can be done by any user.

The PVM user-interface requires that all message data be explicitly typed. PVM performs machine-independent data conversions when required, thus allowing machines with different integer and floating-point representations to pass data.

Jack Dongarra
Fri Dec 13 15:35:04 EST 1996