Argonne National Laboratory

Goals Guiding Design: PVM and MPI

TitleGoals Guiding Design: PVM and MPI
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsGropp, WD, Lusk, EL
Conference Name4th IEEE International Conference on Cluster Computing
Date Published08/2002
Conference LocationSan Diego, CA
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P962-0502

<p>PVM and MPI, two systems for programming clusters, are often compared. The comparisons usually start with the unspoken assumption that PVM and MPI represent different solutions to the same problem. In this paper we show that, in fact, the two systems often are solving different problems. In cases where the problems do match but the solutions chosen by PVM and MPI are different, we explain the reasons for the differences. Usually such differences can be traced to explicit differences in the goals of the two systems, their origins, or the relationship between their specifications and their implementations. For example, we show that the requirement for portability and performance across many platforms caused MPI to choose approaches different from those made by PVM, which is able to exploit the similarities of network-connected systems.</p>