Static scheduling for barrier MIMD architectures

Henry G. Dietz, Abderrazek Zaafrani, Matthew T. O'Keefe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In a SIMD or VLIW machine, conceptual synchronizations are accomplished by using a static code schedule that does not require run-time synchronization. The lack of run-time synchronization overhead makes these machines very effective for fine-grain parallelism, but they cannot execute parallel code structures as general as those executed by MIMD architectures, and this limits their utility. In this paper we present a timing analysis that allows a compiler for a MIMD machine to eliminate a large fraction of the run-time synchronization by making efficient use of static code scheduling. Although these techniques can be adapted to be applied to most MIMD machines, this paper centers on the analysis and scheduling for barrier MIMD machines. Barrier MIMDs are asynchronous multiple instruction stream/multiple data stream architectures capable of parallel execution of variable execution-time instructions and arbitrary control flow (e.g., while loops and calls). However, they also incorporate a special hardware barrier synchronization mechanism that facilitates static scheduling by providing a mechanism which the compiler can use to enforce precise timing constraints. In other words, the compiler tracks relative timing between processors and uses static code scheduling until the timing imprecision becomes too large, at which point the compiler simply inserts a barrier to reduce that timing imprecision to zero (or a small constant). This paper describes new scheduling and barrier placement algorithms for barrier MIMDs that are based loosely on the list scheduling approach employed for VLIWs [Ellis 1985]. In addition, the experimental results from scheduling thousands of synthetic benchmark programs for a parameterized barrier MIMD machine are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-289
Number of pages27
JournalThe Journal of Supercomputing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1992


  • Barrier MIMD
  • barrier synchronization
  • code scheduling
  • compiler optimization
  • timing analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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