Distribution of Linda across a network of workstations

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Virginia Tech

The Linda programming language provides an architecturally independent paradigm for writing parallel programs. By designing and implementing Linda on a network of stand alone workstations a scalable multicomputer can be constructed from existing equipment. This thesis presents the design, implementation and testing of a distributable Linda kernel and communications subsystem providing a framework for full distribution of Linda on a network of workstations. Following a presentation of the Linda language, the kernel’s design and rationale are presented. The design provides for interprocess communications by implementing a protocol on top of the Unix socket facility. Choosing sockets as the interprocess communications medium has the advantage of wide portability. However, a design critique is presented which addresses several disadvantages of the socket based communications model. Considerable attention is given to quantifying the effectiveness of this design in comparison to a shared memory, non-distributable design from Yale University. A thorough investigation into the source of particular observed phenomena is presented which leads to an improvement in wall time performance of an order of magnitude.