A Cross-Language Comparison of Support for Parallel Multigrid Applications

Bradford L. Chamberlain
Steven Deitz
Lawrence Snyder

University of Washington Technical Report UW-CSE-99-12-04
(revised version published at SC00)

Abstract: In this study we perform the first cross-language comparison of support for parallel multigrid applications. The candidate languages include High Performance Fortran, Co-Array Fortran Single Assignment C, and ZPL. The NAS MG benchmark is used as the basis for comparison. Each language is evaluated not only in terms of its parallel performance, but also for its ability to express the computation clearly and concisely. Our findings demonstrate that the decision of whether to support a local per-processor view of computation or a global view affects a language's expressiveness and performance -- the local view approaches tend to achieve the best performance while those with a global view have the best expressiveness. We find that ZPL represents a compelling tradeoff between these two extremes, achieving performance that is competitive with a locally-based approach, yet using syntax that is far more concise and expressive.

postscript | PDF