Technical Report LPCR9603

Title: Thread Migration and its Applications in Distributed Shared Memory Systems
Authors: A. Itzkovitz, A. Schuster and L. Wolfovich
Abstract: In this paper we describe the way thread migration can be carried in distributed shared memory (DSM) systems. We discuss the advantages of multi-threading in DSM systems and the importance of preempted dynamic thread migration. The proposed solution is implemented in Millipede: an environment for parallel programming over a network of (personal) computers. Millipede implements transparent thread migration mechanism: a thread in a Millipede application can be suspended almost at every point during its life-time and be resumed on another host. This mechanism can be used to better utilize system resources and improve performance by balancing the load and solving ping-pong situations of memory objects, and to provide user ownership on his workstation. We describe how some of these are implemented in the Millipede system. Millipede, including its thread migration module, is fully implemented in user-mode (currently on Windows-NT) using the standard operating system APIs.
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