Grid software simplifies number chunking

Grid software simplifies number chunking

GridMathematica, a new version of a leading technical computing program, simplifies the chore of distributing chunks of a massive calculation among processors in a grid or cluster.

The grid software from Wolfram Research Inc. of Champaign, Ill., makes it easy to divide up computations among multiple nodes, said Roger Germundsson, the company's director of R&D.

Mathematica, one of several high-level mathematical languages developed over the last 15 years, lets users perform complex calculations without writing as many lines of code as in conventional programming environments. The grid version permits import and export of Extensible Markup Language files and has a built-in run-time Java environment.

GridMathematica comprises the Mathematica 4.2 application and Wolfram Research's Parallel Computing Toolkit, an add-on for high-level parallel processing. Commands such as ParallelEvaluate, ParallelTable and ParallelMap do the work of longer code in other programming languages, Germundsson said.

The software is designed for so-called embarrassingly parallel computations, in which the same basic calculation must be repeated many times to search for optimal results or to serve many users.

GridMathematica runs under Unix, Linux, Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. Systems in grids or clusters must be able to communicate with each other via TCP/IP.

Government pricing starts at $6,075 for one grid increment, which encompasses eight nodes. The application is sold in increments of eight, Wolfram Research spokesman Ben Wilson said, and the grid-enabled package is priced considerably lower than the total for its components.

Contact Wolfram Research at 800-441-6284.

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