# Load Balancing on a Non-dedicated Heterogeneous Network of Workstations

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3 distribution of the load helps to correct any imbalances in the load, which might be the result of changing external workload or the complex nature of the application. 5 The experiment The proposed method for load balancing is a useful and simple technique for parallel applications to better utilize a network of workstations. To evaluate this method, we tested and compared it against other possible methods. We selected two different and contrasting test applications for our investigation. The first was a volcanic ash dispersion model, while the second was a finite difference model. 5.1 Volcanic ash model The volcanic ash model is a dispersion and accumulation model developed by Suzuki [8]. The model is an empirical model which describes volcanic ash fallout and can be utilized for volcanic hazard assessment. Such a model aids in the hazard assessment by making the variability of the volcanic systems quantifiable without the use of more complex and computationally expensive physical models. This model computes the mass of ash X accumulated at location x and y distances from the volcanic vent according to the following formula 5.2 Finite difference model Many scientific problems have solutions that include partial differential equations. To numerically solve equations with partial derivatives, the derivatives can be replaced with finite difference approximations. Our test case will consist of computing the steady state temperature distribution in a rectangular slab [3]. For the solution to this problem, we use an iterative method called Liebmann s method. With this method, the domain of interest (the slab) is represented by an array of evenly spaced points. The boundary points are given a specific temperature that remains constant. The new temperature for any point in the interior can be computed with the temperature of its border cells. Due to the limited space offered by this forum, the authors will concentrate on providing results for the volcanic ash model, and request that persons interested in the results of the finite difference model contact the authors directly. 5.3 Model implementation The proposed load balancing method is a useful and simple technique for parallel applications which facilitates efficient utilization of a network of workstations. To evaluate the method, it was tested and compared with other possible methods, to be described below. Each of the models described above was coded in C utilizing the features of the Message Passing Interface (MPI). A master-slave relationship model was used for the test cases. In this scenario, a master process is responsible for keeping track of the model organization, while the slave processes to the work. The master process handles all input-output duties as well as all of the computation associated with the dynamic load distribution to the slaves. 5.4 Workstation environment The workstations used for our experiment used the linux operating system running RedHat Linux v6.2. Machines used in our experiments consisted of single processor workstations, dual processor workstations, and one four-processor workstation. Each of the multiple processor workstations has a symmetric multiprocessor architecture. The machines are connected with 100 megabit fast ethernet. From the linux operating system, we were able to obtain both the processor speed and the active current load information. The linux kernel maintains a file system /proc/ which contains information on running processes,

7 [7] Hennesy, J. L. and Patterson, D.A., Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface, Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA [8] Suzuki, T., A theoretical model for the dispersion of tephra, Arc Volcanism: Physics and Tectonics, Terra Scientific Publishing, Tokyo, 1983

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