PARALLAXIS: New Tools (Thomas Braunl)
Fri, 23 Oct 1992 10:28:28 GMT

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PARALLAXIS: New Tools (1992-10-23)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (Thomas Braunl)
Organization: IPVR, University of Stuttgart, Germany
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1992 10:28:28 GMT
Keywords: parallel, tools, modula

[Forwarded from comp.lang.modula2 by Cheryl Lins]



                            Announcing New Tools for Parallaxis

Parallaxis is a procedural programming language based on Modula-2, but
extended for data parallel (SIMD) programming. It has been developed at
the Universitaet Stuttgart (Germany) and is in the public domain since
1990. The main approach for machine independent parallel programming is to
include a description of the virtual parallel machine with each parallel
algorithm. The declaration includes the number of identical processors
with local memory (PEs), the names of com- munication ports, and the
network topology for data exchange among PEs. With this information
contained in each program, the parallel algorithm becomes simpler (e.g.
symbolic names for communication directions) and easier to understand.

The Parallaxis environment provides both, a simulation system for several
work- stations and PCs, and compilers for the massively parallel
supercomputers MasPar MP-1 and Connection Machine CM-2. Parallaxis
programs may be tested and debugged on the simulation system and can then
be executed on a MasPar or CM system without a change. The simulation
system by itself is a valuable tool for educational purposes, such as
parallel programming classes. The Parallaxis compilers for MasPar and CM
provide full virtualization for both, processing elements and
interconnection structure. Application programs have no limitations in
terms of PEs or connections available besides memory size.

New Tools are now available for Parallaxis:

  pmon An X window based load monitor for Parallaxis programs.
------ During execution of a Parallaxis program, a recording file may be
              generated. This is being read by pmon, which generates a graphics
              window showing the load of the processing elements as a function over
              the execution time. Some statistics information on the commands
              executed may be displayed in form of a pie chart (e.g. percentage
              of data exchange commands).
              pmon is a very interesting analysis tool for parallel algorithms,
              each revealing its characteristic "load curve". It is helpful in
              determining where time is spent (or lost) for tuning parallel programs.

  visu An X window based interconnection structure visualizer for Parallaxis.
------ When using complex connection structures between PEs in a Parallaxis
              program, it is often helpful to have them displayed in graphical form.
              visu reads a Parallaxis source program and displays the PEs and their
              connections in a graphics window. The PE arrangements currently suppor-
              ted are: linear list, grid, and circle. PEs are displayed as polygons,
              depending on their connection number. The positions of connection ports
              may be edited interactively. PEs may be labelled with their position

Both tools are bundled with the appropriate workstation distribution tar-files
for: Sun3, SPARCstation, DECstation, HP/Apollo 700, IBM RS/6000.

All software packages and a number of example programs are available
via "anonymous ftp" from our
server: (
in subdirectory: pub/parallaxis

The User Manual for Parallaxis Version 2.0 is also available via "anonymous
ftp" as Postscript files, but a printed copy may also be ordered for a nominal
fee (cash or cheque made to "Univ. Stuttgart") of DM 10.00 (Europe) or
US$ 15.00 (outside Europe) from the addres below.

    Thomas Braunl
Thomas Braunl e-mail:
Univ. Stuttgart IPVR, Breitwiesenstr. 20-22, D-7000 Stuttgart 80, Germany

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