Performance Bounds on Parallel Self-Initiating Discrete-Event Simulations

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This paper considers the use of massively parallel architectures to execute discrete-event simulations of what we term “self-initiating” models. A logical process in a self-initiating model schedules its own state reevaluation times, independently of any other logical process, and sends its new state to other logical processes following the reevaluation. Our interest is in the effects of that communication on synchronization. Using a model that idealizes the communication topology of a simulation, we consider the performance of various synchronization protocols by deriving upper and lower bounds on optimal performance, upper bounds on Time Warp's performance, and lower bounds on the performance of a new consevative protocol. Our analysis of Time Warp includes some of the overhead costs of state saving and rollback; the effects of propogating rollbacks are ignored. The analysis points out sufficient conditions for the conservitive protocol to outperform Time Warp. The analysis also quantifies the sensitivity of performance to message fanout, lookahead ability, and the probability distributions underlying the simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-50
Number of pages27
JournalACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation (TOMACS)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • parallel simulation
  • synchronization protocol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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