Apps & Design

Alan Ward award at
Mon Jul 3 09:23:43 PDT 2000

De: Gregory R. Warnes <warnes at>
A: Alan Ward <award at>
CC: beowulf at
Asunto: RE: Apps & Design
Fecha: dissabte, 1 / juliol / 2000 18:07

> Careful.  You are equating "the problem consists of independent pieces"
> with parallelizable. 

No. I'm saying that parallelizable implies we have to be able to split it
independent pieces, but not the other way round. Since the translation
problem cannot be split into "large" independent pieces, it follows that
the Beowulf approach in not efficient in this case. 

Maybe at lower level (e.g. pattern searching, looking up words in a table)
the problem is parallelizable. But then we need access from all processing
nodes to all the data, and the bandwidh necessary goes up. This would be
more for a multiprocessor machine; say 1024 CPUs sharing RAM through
some sort of multidimensional lattice structure. Not off-the-shelf
> Stating that natural language processing is inherently non-parallel
> ignores the fact that the only system known to correctly process natural
> language (the brain) is made up of a lot of independent processing units!

But do these units work in parallel? My take is they work more as a mesh.
Then again, I'm not a biologist and can't prove this impression.
> The current tools may not correctly approach the problem correctly, but
> that does not mean it isn't possible. 
> -Greg

Alan Ward

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