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CM30225: Parallel computing

[Page last updated: 20 April 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Computer Science
Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Period:
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 25%, EX 75%
Supplementary Assessment:
CM30225 - Like for Like - except in Coursework - where evaluations in implementations (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must take CM20214 OR ( take CM10227 AND take CM10228 ) OR take EE10134
In order to take this unit you must be able to program in C
Aims: To give students the ability to recognise and understand the problems and opportunities afforded by parallel systems; to recognise the differing types of parallelism available and make advised choices between them; and to take advantage of progress in technology as modern computers become ever more parallel.

Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to:
1. write and debug simple parallel programs;
2. recognise the issues surrounding concurrent access to data;
3. Describe the various kinds of parallel hardware, parallel programming methodologies and the relationship between them.

Skills: IT (T, A).

Content: 1. Basics: supercomputers and the consequences of Moore's Law; bandwidth vs latency; speedup, efficiency, scalability; Amdahl's & Gustafson's Laws; Flynn's taxonomy, SPMD; distributed, shared, NUMA and other memory architectures.
2. Shared memory computing: multicore systems (cache coherence and bottlenecks); mutual exclusion and critical regions; low level constructs including POSIX threads and synchronisation methods such as barriers, locks, semaphores, etc.; language-level support including monitors, OpenMP; vector and array (SIMD), HPF, Cn.
3. Distributed computing: clusters, message passing, MPI. Programming using MPI (PBS).
4. Parallel algorithms and data structures.
5. Topics in Parallel Computing: examples might include HPC; MapReduce; distributed file systems; the Grid; GPGPU and OpenCL; instruction level parallelism (SWAR,VLIW).

Programme availability:
NB. Postgraduate programme information will be added when the postgraduate catalogues are published in August 2021

CM30225 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Computer Science
  • USCM-AFB06 : BSc(Hons) Computer Science (Year 3)
  • USCM-AAB07 : BSc(Hons) Computer Science with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCM-AKB07 : BSc(Hons) Computer Science with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USCM-AFB20 : BSc(Hons) Computer Science and Mathematics (Year 3)
  • USCM-AAB20 : BSc(Hons) Computer Science and Mathematics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCM-AKB20 : BSc(Hons) Computer Science and Mathematics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USCM-AAB10 : BSc(Hons) Computer Science with Business with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCM-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Computer Science with Business with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USCM-AFM01 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science (Year 3)
  • USCM-AAM02 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science with Study year abroad (Year 3)
  • USCM-AKM02 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science with Year long work placement (Year 3)
  • USCM-AFM14 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science and Mathematics (Year 3)
  • USCM-AAM14 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science and Mathematics with Study year abroad (Year 3)
  • USCM-AKM14 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science and Mathematics with Year long work placement (Year 3)
Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
  • UEEE-AFB13 : BEng(Hons) Computer Systems Engineering (Year 3)
  • UEEE-AKB13 : BEng(Hons) Computer Systems Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UEEE-AFM13 : MEng(Hons) Computer Systems Engineering (Year 3)
  • UEEE-AKM13 : MEng(Hons) Computer Systems Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 4)

Notes:

  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.