Although various strategies have been developed for scheduling parallel applications with independent tasks, very little work exists for scheduling tightly coupled parallel applications on cluster environments. In this paper, we compare four different strategies based on performance models of tightly coupled parallel applications for scheduling the applications on clusters. In addition to algorithms based on existing popular optimization techniques, we also propose a new algorithm called Box Elimination that searches the space of performance model parameters to determine the best schedule of machines. By means of real and simulation experiments, we evaluated the algorithms on single cluster and multi-cluster setups. We show that our Box Elimination algorithm generates up to 80% more efficient schedules than other algorithms. We also show that the execution times of the schedules produced by our algorithm are more robust against the performance modeling errors. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.