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Institute for Computing Systems Architecture

Computer Architecture Simulation & Visualisation


Evaluation of Multiprocessor Interconnection Networks

Project Summary

The EMIN Project was funded by EPSRC under Grant GR/K19716 and ran from December 1994 to November 1997

Designing multiprocessor systems is complicated because of the varied interactions between parallel software and hardware. Evaluating the impact of design decisions on overall performance is difficult. The EMIN project sought to address these issues by developing a software testbed for designing and analysing multiprocessor interconnection network performance. Rather than apply a single technique to the problem, a suite of design techniques has been used. The simplest (and often overlooked) technique is spreadsheet analysis. This enables quick broad brush comparisons of networks. Microbenchmarks are useful both for characterising network performance and for providing data which is relevant to software. Discrete event simulation is an extremely powerful technique for evaluating performance of complex interacting hardware/software systems; we have developed techniques based on both Java (the SimJava library) and C++ and threads (the HASE++ library). For a design tool to be effective, the turnaround time must be small and the results must be visible and understandable. Visualisation of simulation results is therefore crucial, so our models have had graphical representations from the start. The main contributions of this project have been:


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HASE Project
Institute for Computing Systems Architecture, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
Last change 21/04/2003

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