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Scientific Programming
Volume 7, Issue 3-4, Pages 231-246

On the Automatic Parallelization of Sparse and Irregular Fortran Programs

Yuan Lin and David Padua

Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Copyright © 1999 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.


Automatic parallelization is usually believed to be less effective at exploiting implicit parallelism in sparse/irregular programs than in their dense/regular counterparts. However, not much is really known because there have been few research reports on this topic. In this work, we have studied the possibility of using an automatic parallelizing compiler to detect the parallelism in sparse/irregular programs. The study with a collection of sparse/irregular programs led us to some common loop patterns. Based on these patterns new techniques were derived that produced good speedups when manually applied to our benchmark codes. More importantly, these parallelization methods can be implemented in a parallelizing compiler and can be applied automatically.