Distributed OpenCL: a platform for distributed, heterogeneous computing for domain scientists

William H. Dillon (William Hall)
Oregon State University
Oregon State University, 2012


   title={Distributed OpenCL: a platform for distributed, heterogeneous computing for domain scientists},

   author={Dillon, W.H.},



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It is possible to purchase, for as little as $10,000, a cluster of computers with the capability to rival the supercomputers of only a few years ago. Now, users that have little to no experience developing distributed applications or managing a cluster are in a position to do so. To allow domain scientists to effectively utilize these resources, Distributed OpenCL (DOCL) was developed. DOCL is an easy-to-use foundation for peer-to-peer distributed computation on small to medium clusters. It is assumed that the end-user is a domain scientist, familiar with model development in environments such as Matlab, though inexperienced with distributed computation or parallel programming. The scope of this work includes the definition of a peer-to-peer protocol for discovering and establishing relationships with every node within a multicast domain, using the concepts of Zero-Configuration Networking, multicast DNS, and DNS Service Discovery. A problematic edge case of multicast DNS is detailed along with a mitigation technique. An XML schema is also described for basic peer communication and cluster management and inventory. A system for scheduling algorithm tasks on the cluster of heterogeneous compute devices was developed, including an automatic computation and communication cost measurement system. Finally, a graphical programming language was designed and implemented that allows non-expert programmers and modelers to develop new applications in a straightforward, accessible way.
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