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Scientific Programming
Volume 6 (1997), Issue 1, Pages 153-158

Experiences in Data-Parallel Programming

Terry W. Clark,1 Reinhard v. Hanxleden,2 and Ken Kennedy2

1Texas Center for Advanced Molecular Computation, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
2Center for Research on Parallel Computation, Rice University, Houston, TX 77251, USA

Received 26 February 1995; Accepted 26 January 1996

Copyright © 1997 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To efficiently parallelize a scientific application with a data-parallel compiler requires certain structural properties in the source program, and conversely, the absence of others. A recent parallelization effort of ours reinforced this observation and motivated this correspondence. Specifically, we have transformed a Fortran 77 version of GROMOS, a popular dusty-deck program for molecular dynamics, into Fortran D, a data-parallel dialect of Fortran. During this transformation we have encountered a number of difficulties that probably are neither limited to this particular application nor do they seem likely to be addressed by improved compiler technology in the near future. Our experience with GROMOS suggests a number of points to keep in mind when developing software that may at some time in its life cycle be parallelized with a data-parallel compiler. This note presents some guidelines for engineering data-parallel applications that are compatible with Fortran D or High Performance Fortran compilers.