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High Level Libraries for Distributed Arrays

A distributed array is a collective array shared by a number of processes. Like an ordinary array, a distributed array has some index space and stores a collection of elements of fixed type. Unlike an ordinary array, the index space and associated elements are scattered across the processes that share the array. The communication patterns implied by data-parallel languages like HPF can be complex. Moreover, it may be hard for a compiler to create all the low-level MPI calls to carry out these communications. Instead, the compiler may be implemented to exploit higher-level libraries which directly manipulate distributed array data. Like the run-time libraries used for memory management in sequential programming languages, the library that a data parallel compiler uses for managing distributed arrays is often called its run-time library.


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Bryan Carpenter 2004-06-09