W. D. Gropp, "Learning from the Success of MPI," Preprint ANL/MCS-P903-0801, August 2001. [pdf]
The Message Passing Interface (MPI) has been extremely successful as a portable way to program high-performance parallel computers. This success has occurred in spite of the view of many that message passing is difficult and that other approaches, including automatic parallelization and directive-based parallelism, are easier to use. This paper argues that MPI has succeeded because it addresses all of the important issues in providing a parallel programming model.