Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Gary B. Lamont, PhD


In recent years, high performance computing with commodity clusters of personal computers has become an active area of research. Many organizations build them because they need the computational speedup provided by parallel processing but cannot afford to purchase a supercomputer. With commercial supercomputers and homogenous clusters of PCs, applications that can be statically load balanced are done so by assigning equal tasks to each processor. With heterogeneous clusters, the system designers have the option of quickly adding newer hardware that is more powerful than the existing hardware. When this is done, the assignment of equal tasks to each processor results in suboptimal performance. This research addresses techniques by which the size of the tasks assigned to processors is a suitable match to the processors themselves, in which the more powerful processors can do more work, and the less powerful processors perform less work. We find that when the range of processing power is narrow, some benefit can be achieved with asymmetric load balancing. When the range of processing power is broad, dramatic improvements in performance are realized our experiments have shown up to 92% improvement when asymmetrically load balancing a modified version of the NAS Parallel Benchmarks' LU application.

AFIT Designator


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