Evaluation of parallel programming systems


  • 19.1.2006 The Parawiki just found a new home at www.parawiki.org.
  • 7.11.2005 We have closed the Parallel Programming Survey now, the results will be available shortly. Thanks to all 262 participants, the winners of the gift certificates will be announced shortly as well!
  • 2.3.2005 The Parawiki and our Parallel Programming Survey are now online! Please participate to make these efforts successful! A short whitepaper explaining our goals in more detail is available here as well.


  • Generation of an overview over the available parallel programming system categories and their members
  • Evaluation of a few selected parallel programming systems out of each category
  • Generation of a representative overview over parallel programming systems currently in use by application programmers

The world of parallel programming today is diverse and complex. New parallel programming systems are developed all over the world, yet few are in practical use. Many of the new systems show great promise, but do not scale well to real world applications. Others never leave the testing state. The few systems that seem to be used for real applications are mostly more than 5 years old (i.e. MPI, OpenMP).

We feel that to change this situation, one needs to take a step back and understand the current situation fully. We are therefore taking the time to analyze the state of the art of parallel programming, pursuing several possible goals in the process.

First, we are performing a survey on parallel programming, where we are asking developers of parallel applications about the systems they are actually using. We hope that this will enable us to determine, which systems have made the transition from research projects to production systems, and what problems application programmers of medium to large scale projects actually face. This survey has now been put online here and is open for participation.

Second, we are working on a categorization of available parallel programming systems. For this reason we have set up the Parawiki, an online resource for parallel programmers, where all kinds of information on parallel programming is supposed to be found in one single and convenient location. The categorization aspect is especially visible in our trees, which are generated out of information in the wiki and can be used to provide an easy overview over various topics.

As a third milestone we are planning on evaluating a few parallel programming systems out of each category, to get an overview over their current capabilities and weaknesses. Standard measures will be applied as often as possible. This is presently done in a practical work with students, a more detailed description of that can be found here (in german).

All goals will be pursued in parallel, and when they are finished, we hope to be able to provide a general overview over the many aspects of parallel programming today.

For further information please contact one of the following members of our staff:
Michael Süß
Prof. Dr. Claudia Leopold

[SL05] M. Süß, C.Leopold: Evaluating the state of the art of parallel programming systems; Technical Report No. 1 / 2005, Kassel, March 2005.