Parallel RAM

Abstract computer for designing parallel algorithms / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In computer science, a parallel random-access machine (parallel RAM or PRAM) is a shared-memory abstract machine. As its name indicates, the PRAM is intended as the parallel-computing analogy to the random-access machine (RAM) (not to be confused with random-access memory). In the same way that the RAM is used by sequential-algorithm designers to model algorithmic performance (such as time complexity), the PRAM is used by parallel-algorithm designers to model parallel algorithmic performance (such as time complexity, where the number of processors assumed is typically also stated). Similar to the way in which the RAM model neglects practical issues, such as access time to cache memory versus main memory, the PRAM model neglects such issues as synchronization and communication, but provides any (problem-size-dependent) number of processors. Algorithm cost, for instance, is estimated using two parameters O(time) and O(time × processor_number).