Scholarly Communications Project

From Two Packets to One: Increasing the Performance of Linda-LAN


Jason L. Christian

Special Report submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Science


Computer Science


Dr. James D. Arthur, Chair
Dr. Calvin Ribbens
Dr. Osman Balci

February 3, 1997
Blacksburg, Virginia


Although networked-based computational environments such as Linda-LAN provide parallel processing capability, performance is still a major concern. One critical factor that can hinder the performance of any parallel processing environment is the high cost of interprocess communication. The goal of this project is to increase the performance of C-Linda programs executed in the Linda-LAN environment. With the current two packet message passing scheme, a receiving process listens for a header packet to arrive on a socket connection. Once the header packet has been received, the process then reads the data packet that follows. Reading the data packet may cause the process to block since the data may not have arrived. By modifying the two packet scheme to use only a single packet, the potential for blocking is removed since the header and data packets are guaranteed to arrive at the same time. Hence, the time spent waiting for the data is nullified, thus producing an increase in performance.

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