Dr. Dobb's is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Channels ▼

Highly Scalable Parallel Sorting

Sorting is a commonly used algorithm with a wide breadth of applications in the high-performance computing field. Early research in parallel processing has provided us with comprehensive analysis and theory for parallel sorting algorithms. However, modern supercomputers have advanced rapidly in size and changed significantly in architecture, forcing new adaptations to these algorithms.

To fully utilize the potential of highly parallel machines, tens of thousands of processors are used. Efficiently scaling parallel sorting on machines of this magnitude is inhibited by the communication-intensive problem of migrating large amounts of data between processors. The challenge is to design a highly scalable sorting algorithm that uses minimal communication, maximizes overlap between computation and communication, and uses memory efficiently.

Highly Scalable Parallel Sorting by Edgar Solomonik and Laxmikant V. Kale presents a scalable extension of the Histogram Sorting method, making fundamental modifications to the original algorithm in order to minimize message contention and exploit overlap. The authors implement Histogram Sort and Radix Sort in Charm++ and compare their performance. The choice of algorithm as well as the importance of the optimizations is validated by performance tests on two predominant modern supercomputer architectures: XT4 at ORNL (Jaguar) and Blue Gene/P at ANL (Intrepid).

Related Reading

More Insights

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.