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The authors explore the use of the Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/BE for short) for combinatorial optimization applications: They present a parallel version of a constraint-based local search algorithm that has been implemented on a multiprocessor BladeCenter machine with twin Cell/BE processors (total of 16 SPUs per blade). This algorithm was chosen because it fits very well the Cell/BE architecture and requires neither shared memory nor communication between processors, while retaining a compact memory footprint. They study the performance on several large optimization benchmarks and show that this achieves mostly linear time speedups, even sometimes super-linear. This is possible because the parallel implementation might explore simultaneously different parts of the search space and therefore converge faster towards the best sub-space and thus towards a solution.
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