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Parallel programming Practical 2012/2013

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How to write a report

For each assignment, your report should contain an analysis of your parallel solution for the given problem. This is a list of questions that should help you to write a good report.
  • What was the problem to solve and which algorithm(s) you used?
  • In case you changed the sequential program, what were the changes?
  • What is the theoretical estimation of the performance of the parallel program? Note that the assignments might need different techniques to estimate the expected parallel performance.
  • What are is the experimental set-up? Always create a complete experimental set-up, explain how you decided what measurements to take and why, and what is the relevance of each experiment or set of experiments.
  • What was the procedure of taking measurements? Explain what you have measured, why, and how.
  • What were the results of your measurements? Include both numbers and graphs. Execution times and speed-ups must be included in your report; however, do include (in separate tables and/or graphs) any additional relevant measurements that you've taken and analyzed.
  • What do the numbers say about program performance? Explain all the results you include in the report; any unexplained graph and/or table are basically useless for the reader, and therefore will not be considered for grading your report.
  • How do the results compare to the theoretical estimation? Focus on explaining the (eventual) gaps: why they appear and how can they be alleviated.
  • Is there any slow-down? Why? Is there any superlinear speedup? Why? Is there a flattening of the speed-up curve? Why?
  • In cases when reporting utilization is important/interesting (see GPUs, for example), what are the reasons for low utilization? Can utilization be improved? How?
  • How does the performance scale in case there were more processors?
  • What are the conclusions of your work? What is your experience with the particular language/programming model that the assignment targets? Any generic difficulties you have encountered? Any guidelines you've extracted from your work?
Note that this list is not meant to be exhaustive, but it provides a basic template for you to use when building your report. Note that the report should not exceed 5 pages (graphs and tables not counted). Brevity is appreciated, but do not omit the interesting details about your implementation and results.

Practical Notes: Only reports in PDF format will be accepted. To create speedup graphs you can use any tool but keep the axes scaled evenly. We recommend Gnuplot.

What's new?

October 31, 2012:
The new assignments are available on the blackboard.

October 31, 2012:
The site for PPP has moved on the blackboard.

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