Performance - Basic Concepts (E1)

Description: This module introduces the performance aspects of parallel computing. This is an important module as it provides motivations of parallel computing. The module looks into fundamental terminologies and concepts of parallel computing such as level of parallelism, speedup, Amdahls law. As sequential Quicksort is one of the most popular sequential sorting algorithms, a parallel Quicksort algorithm is introduced to demonstrate the concept of speedup and performance gains

Recommended Length: Two lectures (~2:30 min)

Recommended Course: Data Structures, Compilers

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

  • [Architecture]Two facets of performance: time and units of work
  • [Architecture] Key factors in performance: number of instructions; average # of clock cycles per instruction; clock cycle time
  • [Architecture] Limit of increasing clock rate; Moores law
  • [Architecture] Level of parallelism: (a) Bit level parallelism; (b) Instructional level; (c) Data level; (d) Task level
  • [Architecture] Trend in parallel computing architecture
  • [Algorithm] Speedup
  • [Architecture, Algorithm] Amdahls law and its significance
  • [Programming] Parallel Quicksort: (a) Basic concept; (b) The algorithm; (c) Performance analysis

Lecture Material: [ PDF ] [ PPT ]

Sample Source Code:

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