The Cowichan Problems are a suite for assessing the usability of parallel programming systems. The suite was developed by Greg Wilson. Several students of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of the Vrije Universiteit have implemented these applications in the Orca parallel language.

**Papers**

The original paper describing the Cowichan problems is:

- Gregory V. Wilson: "Assessing the Usability of Parallel Programming Systems: The Cowichan Problems", Proceedings of the IFIP Working Conference on Programming Environments for Massively Parallel Distributed Systems, April 1994, Birkhauser Verlag AG.

A paper describing the lessons learned from implementing the Cowichan problems in Orca is

- Gregory V. Wilson and Henri E. Bal, "An Empirical Assessment of the Usability of Orca Using the Cowichan Problems", IEEE Parallel and Distributed Technology, Vol. 4, No. 3, Fall 1996, pp. 36-44.

**Orca implementation of Cowichan applications**

Below are references to the reports written by the students and to their Orca source code

- The Turing Ring (by Dion Nicolaas)
- Kece (by Peter Boncz)
- Active Chart Parsing (by Anil Sukul)
- Image Thinning and Skeletonization (by Rudolf de Boer)
- Polygon Overlay (by Pim Langendoen)
- Skyline Matrix Solver (by David Bouman)

**Related work**

Cowichan II is another suite for evaluating parallel programming systems, based on a large number of small problems.