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Using Pi clusters

Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:39 am

I am a teacher and I intend to make a project in a technology class at upper secondary level. The purpose is to a) build a scaleable cluster of R-pi:s, b) to use the cluster in some intelligent way.

Has anyone made use of clusters in education? What programs were written? The students all have taken a course in Python (3).

I have read the LUD issue 145 article and Raspberry Pi Super Cluster book.

Any hits or pointings are welcome,

Matti in Sweden

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Re: Using Pi clusters

Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:03 am

Part a) is relatively easy, part b) is next to impossible because a cluster of RPis isn't much more useful than a single RPi2B.

Clustering relies on getting the data in and out of the processor extremely quickly so you can run the processor at close to 100% and it's never waiting for data because the next chunk is ready and waiting in a buffer. It also relies on getting an application that can run in parallel on small chunks of the data with a supervisor program that breaks the dataset into chunks and builds the results from each parallel process back into a single results set.

All the I/O on a RPi goes through the SMSC9514 so each member of the cluster can never run faster than the sustainable data rate on that USB controller chip.
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Re: Using Pi clusters

Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:48 pm

A few of the projects I've built since 2000 on the path to a pi cluster

Python is the obvious choice for programming. IMHO, Forth is far, far better (but takes a brave school/teacher).
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