Benefits of clustering in shared address space multiprocessors: an applications-driven investigation

Andrew Erlichson, Basem A. Nayfeh, Jaswinder P. Singh, Kunle Olukotun

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Clustering processors together at a level of the memory hierarchy in shared address space multiprocessors appears to be an attractive technique from several standpoints: Resources are shared, packaging technologies are exploited, and processors within a cluster can share data more effectively. We investigate the performance benefits that can be obtained by clustering on a range of important scientific and engineering applications in moderate to large scale cache coherent machines with small degrees of clustering (up to one eighth of the total number of processors in a cluster). We find that except for applications with near neighbor communication topologies this degree of clustering is not very effective in reducing the inherent communication to computation ratios. Clustering is more useful in reducing the number of remote capacity misses in unstructured applications, and can improve performance substantially when small first-level caches are clustered in these cases. This suggests that clustering at the first level cache might be useful in highly-integrated, relatively fine-grained environments. For less integrated machines such as current distributed shared memory multiprocessors, our results suggest that clustering at the first-level caches is not very useful in improving application performance; however our results also suggest that in an machine with long interprocessor communication latencies, clustering further away from the processor can provide performance benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1674-1704
Number of pages31
JournalProceedings of the ACM/IEEE Supercomputing Conference
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1995 ACM/IEEE Supercomputing Conference. Part 2 (of 2) - San Diego, CA, USA
Duration: Dec 3 1995Dec 8 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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