Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Research highlights

Technical Perspective: The Power of Parallelizing Computations

As computers become parallel, performance-challenged programs must also become parallel. For some algorithms, this is not a great challenge as the underlying problem divides naturally into independent pieces that can be computed concurrently. Other problems are not so lucky. Their constituent computations are tightly interdependent, and a parallel implementation requires considerable coordination and synchronization and may still perform poorly.

Recursive algorithms fall into this category. The recursive call is a dependence between the calculations in successive function invocations, which makes it difficult to overlap their executions significantly. There is no general formula for transforming a recursive function for parallel execution. It is necessary to understand the intrinsic structure of the underlying computation and to find a way to preserve the essential relationships while running in parallel.


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account