Analyses of Load Stealing Models Based on Differential Equations

In this paper we develop models for and analyze several randomized work stealing algorithms in a dynamic setting. Our models represent the limiting behavior of systems as the number of processors grows to infinity using differential equations. The advantages of this approach include the ability to model a large variety of systems and to provide accurate numerical approximations of system behavior even when the number of processors is relatively small. We show how this approach can yield significant intuition about the behavior of work stealing algorithms in realistic settings.

Originally appeared in the Proceedings of the 10th ACM Symposium on Parallel Algorithms and Architectures. 1998.