NAMD: A case study in multilingual parallel programming

L. V. Kalé, M. Bhandarkar, R. Brunner, N. Krawetz, J. Phillips, A. Shinozaki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Parallel languages are tools for constructing efficient application programs, while reducing the required labor. In this light, using the most appropriate tool for each component of a complex system seems natural, resulting in multi-paradigm multilingual programming. The Converse system developed at Illinois addresses the issues involved in supporting multilingual applications. This paper describes the development of a large parallel application in Computational Biophysics from the point of view of multilingual programming. NAMD, a molecular dynamics program, is implemented using three different “paradigms”: Parallel message-driven objects, Message-Passing, and Multithreading. The issues faced in implementing such a system, and the advantages of multilingual approach are discussed. NAMD is already operational on many parallel machines. Some preliminary performance results are presented and the lessons learned from this experience are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLanguages and Compilers for Parallel Computing - 10th International Workshop, LCPC 1997, Proceedings
EditorsPen-Chung Yew, Chua-Huang Huang, P. Sadayappan, Zhiyuan Li, Siddharta Chatterjee, David Sehr
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)3540644725, 9783540644729
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Event10th Annual International Workshop on Languages and Compilers for Parallel Computing, LCPC 1997 - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Aug 7 1997Aug 9 1997

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other10th Annual International Workshop on Languages and Compilers for Parallel Computing, LCPC 1997
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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