Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Computer Science

Major Professor

Jack J. Dongarra

Committee Members

Chad A. Steed, Vasilios Alexiades, Gregory D. Peterson


The shift toward multicore processors has transformed the software and hardware landscape in the last decade. As a result, software developers must adopt parallelism in order to efficiently make use of multicore CPUs. Task-based scheduling has emerged as one method to reduce the complexity of parallel computing. Although task-based scheduling has been around for many years, the inclusion of task dependencies in OpenMP 4.0 suggests the paradigm will be around for the foreseeable future.

While task-based schedulers simplify the process of parallel software development, they can obfuscate the performance characteristics of the execution of an algorithm. Additionally, they can create a challenge for users to analyze the performance of their software and tune algorithmic parameters accordingly.

We will present the basic principles of task-based runtimes as well as two new tools developed to assist engineers developing these runtimes and users employing them to parallelize their workloads. The first is a tool allowing users to simulate the execution of their algorithm. The second is an extension to the common execution trace which includes information about task dependencies.

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