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Current Status of MATPAR
Matpar Paper (PDF)

Foundation :: Parallel Computing :: MATPAR


Parallel extensions to MATLAB

Matpar logo Moderators:
Paul Springer

source code available SOURCE CODE AVAILABLE

MATPAR is a package of client/server software that allows a MATLAB user to take advantage of a parallel computer for very large problems. (MATLAB is a commercial program used by scientists and engineers to perform matrix operations.) These extensions provide a much faster alternative to some of the MATLAB functions. In some cases a Matpar function is more than 30 times faster than the equivalent MATLAB function.

Matpar architecturePart of Matpar resides on the workstation running MATLAB. This part is called the client. The other part of Matpar resides on a parallel computer, and is called the server. As of the current release, Matpar server software has been written and tested for a Beowulf computer (PC cluster running Linux). Previous versions included support for the HP/Convex Exemplar SPP2000 computer.

To make use of Matpar, the user calls a Matpar function from within MATLAB. For example, to use the Matpar QR factorization call, the user calls p_qr(), instead of the MATLAB qr() routine. Some Matpar routines have been implemented as MATLAB “M” files and some as “MEX” files. In either case, the Matpar software checks to see if this is the first such call it has received since the user began this MATLAB session. If so, Matpar uses communication software called PVM to initiate a session on the designated parallel computer. This action starts up the Matpar server software. The server software continues running until the user exits MATLAB with the “quit” command.

For each call to Matpar, the software sends the command and necessary data to the server, using PVM. The server software then executes the command, and sends back the data. The client software receives the returning data, and presents it to MATLAB in the expected format.

Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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