Task Orchestration : Communication and Synchronization (D1)

Description: This module focuses on communication and synchronization techniques for parallel applications. Basic concepts of task orchestration in parallel applications are introduced. Point-to-point vs. collective as well as synchronous vs. asynchronous communication methods are introduced and compared. Barrier, lock, and semaphore synchronization methods are introduced and compared. Classic synchronization problems and solutions are discussed. Issues related to shared memory vs. message passing implementations are also discussed.

Recommended Length: One lecture (~1:15 min)

Recommended Course: Operating Systems

Topics and Learning outcomes (per NSF/IEEE-TCPP PDC Curriculum):

  • [Programming] Tasks and threads: understand what it means to create and assign work to threads in a parallel program and how this assignment affects performance; know how to assign work using OpenMP
  • Programming] Asynchrony: understand synchronous and asynchronous events; understand point-to-point and collective communication methods; understand the cost of each type of communication.
  • [Programming] Synchronization: understand the need for inter-thread synchronization; be able to write shared memory programs with critical regions, producer-consumer communication, and get speedup; know the notions of mechanisms for concurrency (monitors, semaphores, etc.); understand safety considerations of parallel execution, including thread-safe functions.

Lecture Material: [ PDF ] [ PPT ]

Pedagogical Notes: available for instructors only

Sample Exam Question: available for instructors only


Jun '15: Qasem speaks at HPC Workshop at Prairiw View A & M

Oct '14: Paper accepted at SIGCSE15

Oct '14: Short paper accepted at EduHPC14 (co-located with SC14)

Aug '14: First regional workshop held at Texas State

May '14: Call for participation in first regional workshop

Mar '14: Qasem serves as penelist in SIGCSE special session on PDC

Nov '13: Poster presented at Supercomputing conference

Sep '13: Paper accepted at EduPDHPC13

Aug '13: Qasem participates in CSinParallel Four Corners Workshop

Jul '13: Qasem receives Early Adopter grant

Mar '13: Qasem presents at NSF Showcase at SIGCSE13

Jan '13: Five new modules implemented

Aug '12: Burtscher receives Early Adopter grant


Apan Qasem (PI)
Department of Computer Science
Texas State University
601 University Dr
San Marcos, TX 78666

Office: Comal 307A
Phone: (512) 245-0347
Fax: (512) 245-8750
E-mail: apan "AT" txstate · edu