DSC: Scheduling Parallel Tasks on an Unbounded Number of Processors

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We present a low-complexity heuristic, named the, dominant sequence clustering algorithm (DSC), for scheduling parallel tasks on an unbounded number of completely connected processors. The performance of DSC is, on average, comparable to, or even better than, other higher-complexity algorithms. We assume no task duplication and nonzero communication overhead between processors. Finding the optimum solution for arbitrary directed acyclic task graphs (DAG’s) is NP-complete. DSC finds optimal schedules for special classes of DAG’s, such as fork, join, coarse-grain trees, and some fine-grain trees. It guarantees a performance within a factor of 2 of the optimum for general coarse-grain DAG’s. We compare DSC with three higher-complexity general scheduling algorithms: the ETF by Hwang, Chow, Anger, and Lee; Sarkar’s clustering algorithm; and the MD by Wu and Gajski. We also give a sample of important practical applications where DSC has been found useful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-967
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


  • Clustering
  • directed acyclic graph
  • heuristic algorithm
  • optimality
  • parallel processing
  • scheduling
  • task precedence


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