Standard Article

Dataflow Computers: Their History and Future

  1. Ali R. Hurson1,
  2. Krishna M. Kavi2

Published Online: 14 DEC 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse102

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Hurson, A. R. and Kavi, K. M. 2007. Dataflow Computers: Their History and Future. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, Missouri

  2. 2

    The University of North Texas, Denton, Texas

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 DEC 2007

Abstract

The dataflow model of computation offers an attractive alternative to control-flow in extracting parallelism from programs. The execution of a dataflow instruction is based on the availability of its operand(s); hence, the synchronization of parallel activities is implicit in the dataflow model. Instructions in dataflow model do not impose any constraints on sequencing except for the data dependencies in the program.

The elegant representation of concurrency in dataflow computation led to considerable interest in dataflow modes over the past three decades. These efforts have led to successively more elaborate architechtural implementations of the model. However, studies form past projects have revealed a number of inefficiencies in dataflow computing. Recent advances that may address these deficiencies have generated a renewed interest in dataflow. In this article we will survey the various issues and developments in dataflow computing.

Keywords:

  • dataflow architecture;
  • dataflow languages;
  • classification of dataflow machine;
  • macro dataflow;
  • pure dataflow;
  • hybrid dataflow;
  • handling data structures;
  • partitioning and load balancing;
  • cache in dataflow