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Principles and Practices of Interconnection Networks - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780122007514, 9780080497808

Principles and Practices of Interconnection Networks

1st Edition

Authors: William Dally Brian Towles
Paperback ISBN: 9781493300334
Hardcover ISBN: 9780122007514
eBook ISBN: 9780080497808
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 18th December 2003
Page Count: 576
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction to Interconnection Networks
1.1 Three Questions About Interconnection Networks
1.2 Uses of Interconnection Networks
1.3 Network Basics
1.4 History
1.5 Organization of this Book

Chapter 2 A Simple Interconnection Network
2.1 Network Specifications and Constraints
2.2 Topology
2.3 Routing
2.4 Flow Control
2.5 Router Design
2.6 Performance Analysis
2.7 Exercises

Chapter 3 Topology Basics
3.1 Nomenclature
3.2 Traffic Patterns
3.3 Performance
3.4 Packaging Cost
3.5 Case Study: The SGI Origin 2000
3.6 Bibliographic Notes
3.7 Exercises

Chapter 4 Butterfly Networks
4.1 The Structure of Butterfly Networks
4.2 Isomorphic Butterflies
4.3 Performance and Packaging Cost
4.4 Path Diversity and Extra Stages
4.5 Case Study: The BBN Butterfly
4.6 Bibliographic Notes
4.7 Exercises

Chapter 5 Torus Networks
5.1 The Structure of Torus Networks
5.2 Performance
5.3 Building Mesh and Torus Networks
5.4 Express Cubes
5.5 Case Study: The MIT J-Machine
5.6 Bibliographic Notes
5.7 Exercises
Chapter 6 Non-Blocking Networks
6.1 Non-Blocking vs. Non-Interfering Networks
6.2 Crossbar Networks
6.3 Clos Networks
6.4 Benes Networks
6.5 Sorting Networks
6.6 Case Study: The Velio VC2002 (Zeus) Grooming Switch
6.7 Bibliographic Notes
6.8 Exercises

Chapter 7 Slicing and Dicing
7.1 Concentrators and Distributors
7.2 Slicing and Dicing
7.3 Slicing Multistage Networks
7.4 Case Study: Bit Slicing in the Tiny Tera
7.5 Bibliographic Notes
7.6 Exercises

Chapter 8 Routing Basics
8.1 A Routing Example
8.2 Taxonomy of Routing Algorithms
8.3 The Routing Relation
8.4 Deterministic Routing
8.5 Case Study: Dimension-Order Routing in the Cray T3D
8.6 Bibliographic Notes
8.7 Exercises

Chapter 9 Oblivious Routing
9.1 Valiant's Randomized Routing Algorithm
9.2 Minimal Oblivious Routing
9.3 Load-Balanced Oblivious Routing
9.4 Analysis of Oblivious Routing
9.5 Case Study: Oblivious Routing in the
Avici Terabit Switch Router(TSR)
9.6 Bibliographic Notes
9.7 Exercises

Chapter 10 Adaptive Routing
10.1 Adaptive Routing Basics
10.2 Minimal Adaptive Routing
10.3 Fully Adaptive Routing
10.4 Load-Balanced Adaptive Routing
10.5 Search-Based Routing
10.6 Case Study: Adaptive Routing in the
Thinking Machines CM-5
10.7 Bibliographic Notes
10.8 Exercises

Chapter 11 Routing Mechanics
11.1 Table-Based Routing
11.2 Algorithmic Routing
11.3 Case Study: Oblivious Source Routing in the
IBM Vulcan Network
11.4 Bibliographic Notes
11.5 Exercises

Chapter 12 Flow Control Basics
12.1 Resources and Allocation Units
12.2 Bufferless Flow Control
12.3 Circuit Switching
12.4 Bibliographic Notes
12.5 Exercises

Chapter 13 Buffered Flow Control
13.1 Packet-Buffer Flow Control
13.2 Flit-Buffer Flow Control
13.3 Buffer Management and Backpressure
13.4 Flit-Reservation Flow Control
13.5 Bibliographic Notes
13.6 Exercises

Chapter 14 Deadlock and Livelock
14.1 Deadlock
14.2 Deadlock Avoidance
14.3 Adaptive Routing
14.4 Deadlock Recovery
14.5 Livelock
14.6 Case Study: Deadlock Avoidance in the Cray T3E
14.7 Bibliographic Notes
14.8 Exercises

Chapter 15 Quality of Service
15.1 Service Classes and Service Contracts
15.2 Burstiness and Network Delays
15.3 Implementation of Guaranteed Services
15.4 Implementation of Best-Effort Services
15.5 Separation of Resources
15.6 Case Study: ATM Service Classes
15.7 Case Study: Virtual Networks in the Avici TSR
15.8 Bibliographic Notes
15.9 Exercises

Chapter 16 Router Architecture
16.1 Basic Router Architecture
16.2 Stalls
16.3 Closing the Loop with Credits
16.4 Reallocating a Channel
16.5 Speculation and Lookahead
16.6 Flit and Credit Encoding
16.7 Case Study: The Alpha 21364 Router
16.8 Bibliographic Notes
16.9 Exercises

Chapter 17 Router Datapath Components
17.1 Input Buffer Organization
17.2 Switches
17.3 Output Organization
17.4 Case Study: The Datapath of the IBM Colony
17.5 Bibliographic Notes
17.6 Exercises

Chapter 18 Arbitration
18.1 Arbitration Timing
18.2 Fairness
18.3 Fixed Priority Arbiter
18.4 Variable Priority Iterative Arbiters
18.5 Matrix Arbiter
18.6 Queuing Arbiter
18.7 Exercises

Chapter 19 Allocation
19.1 Representations
19.2 Exact Algorithms
19.3 Separable Allocators
19.4 Wavefront Allocator
19.5 Incremental vs. Batch Allocation
19.6 Multistage Allocation
19.7 Performance of Allocators
19.8 Case Study: The Tiny Tera Allocator
19.9 Bibliographic Notes
19.10 Exercises

Chapter 20 Network Interfaces
20.1 Processor-Network Interface
20.2 Shared-Memory Interface
20.3 Line-Fabric Interface
20.4 Case Study: The MIT M-Machine Network Interface
20.5 Bibliographic Notes
20.6 Exercises

Chapter 21 Error Control 411
21.1 Know Thy Enemy: Failure Modes and Fault Models
21.2 The Error Control Process: Detection, Containment,
and Recovery
21.3 Link Level Error Control
21.4 Router Error Control
21.5 Network-Level Error Control
21.6 End-to-end Error Control
21.7 Bibliographic Notes
21.8 Exercises

Chapter 22 Buses
22.1 Bus Basics
22.2 Bus Arbitration
22.3 High Performance Bus Protocol
22.4 From Buses to Networks
22.5 Case Study: The PCI Bus
22.6 Bibliographic Notes
22.7 Exercises

Chapter 23 Performance Analysis
23.1 Measures of Interconnection Network Performance
23.2 Analysis
23.3 Validation
23.4 Case Study: Efficiency and Loss in the
BBN Monarch Network
23.5 Bibliographic Notes
23.6 Exercises

Chapter 24 Simulation
24.1 Levels of Detail
24.2 Network Workloads
24.3 Simulation Measurements
24.4 Simulator Design
24.5 Bibliographic Notes
24.6 Exercises

Chapter 25 Simulation Examples 495
25.1 Routing
25.2 Flow Control Performance
25.3 Fault Tolerance

Appendix A Nomenclature
Appendix B Glossary
Appendix C Network Simulator


One of the greatest challenges faced by designers of digital systems is optimizing the communication and interconnection between system components. Interconnection networks offer an attractive and economical solution to this communication crisis and are fast becoming pervasive in digital systems. Current trends suggest that this communication bottleneck will be even more problematic when designing future generations of machines. Consequently, the anatomy of an interconnection network router and science of interconnection network design will only grow in importance in the coming years.

This book offers a detailed and comprehensive presentation of the basic principles of interconnection network design, clearly illustrating them with numerous examples, chapter exercises, and case studies. It incorporates hardware-level descriptions of concepts, allowing a designer to see all the steps of the process from abstract design to concrete implementation.

Key Features

  • Case studies throughout the book draw on extensive author experience in designing interconnection networks over a period of more than twenty years, providing real world examples of what works, and what doesn't.
  • Tightly couples concepts with implementation costs to facilitate a deeper understanding of the tradeoffs in the design of a practical network.
  • A set of examples and exercises in every chapter help the reader to fully understand all the implications of every design decision.


Practitioners, researchers and students in Computer Architecture and Digital System Design.


No. of pages:
© Morgan Kaufmann 2003
18th December 2003
Morgan Kaufmann
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Dally and Towles use their combined three decades of experience to create a book that elucidates the theory and practice of computer interconnection networks. On one hand, they derive
fundamentals and enumerate design alternatives. On the other, they present numerous case studies and are not afraid to give their experienced opinions on current choices and future trends. This book is a "must buy" for those interested in or designing interconnection networks.

-Mark Hill, University of Wisconsin, Madison

The scholarship of this book is unparalleled in its area. This text is for interconnection networks what Hennessy and Patterson's text is for computer architecture---an authoritative, one-stop source that clearly and methodically explains the more significant concepts. Treatment of the material both in breadth and in depth is very well done...a must read and a slam dunk!
-Timothy Mark Pinkston, University of Southern California

This book will serve as excellent teaching material, an invaluable research reference, and a very handy supplement for system designers. In addition to documenting and clearly presenting the key research findings, the book's incisive practical treatment is unique. By presenting how actual design constraints impact each facet of interconnection network design, the book deftly ties theoretical findings of the past decades to real systems design. This perspective is critically needed in engineering education.
-Li-Shiuan Peh, Princeton University

This book will instantly become a canonical reference in the field of interconnection networks. Prof. Dally's pioneering research dramatically and permanently changed this field by introducing rigorous evaluation techniques and creative solutions to the challenge of high-performance computer system communication. This well-organized textbook will benefit both students and experienced practitioners. The presentation and exercises are a result of years of classroom experience in creating this material. All in all, this is a must-have source of information.
-Craig Stunkel, IBM

Principles and Practices of Interconnection Networks is a triple threat: comprehensive, well written and authoritative. The need for this book has grown with the increasing impact of interconnects on computer system performance and cost. It will be a great tool for students and teachers alike, and will clearly help practicing engineers build better networks.
-Steve Scott, Cray Inc.

The most comprehensive and coherent work on modern interconnection networks. As leaders in the field, Dally and Towles capitalize on their vast experience as researchers and engineers to present both the theory behind such networks and the practice of building them. This book is a necessity for anyone studying, analyzing, or designing interconnection networks.
-Stephen W. Keckler, The University of Texas at Austin

Ratings and Reviews

About the Authors

William Dally

Affiliations and Expertise

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Brian Towles

Affiliations and Expertise

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA