Peter G. Harrison, Naresh M. Patel
A major component of a parallel machine is its interconnection network (IN), which provides concurrent communication between the processing elements. It is common to use a multistage interconnection network (MIN) that is constructed using crossbar switches and introduces contention not only for destination addresses but also for internal links. Both types of contention are increased when nonlocal communication across a MIN becomes concentrated on a certain destination address, the hot-spot. This paper considers analytical models of asynchronous, circuit-switched INs in which partial paths are held during path building, beginning with a single crossbar and extending recursively to MINs. Since a path must be held between source and destination processors before data can be transmitted, switching networks are passive resources and queuing networks that include them do not therefore have product-form solutions. Using decomposition techniques, the flow-equivalent server (FES) that represents a bank of devices transmitting through a switching network is determined, under mild approximating assumptions. In the case of a full crossbar, the FES can be solved directly and the result can be applied recursively to model the MIN. Two cases are considered: one in which there is uniform routing and the other where there is a hot-spot at one of the output pins. Validation with respect to simulation for MINs with up to six stages (64-way switching) indicated a high degree of accuracy in the models.
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