Parallel computation of symbolic robot models and control laws: Theory and application to transputer networks
New computer architectures based on large numbers of processors are now used in various application areas ranging from embedded systems to supercomputers. Efficient parallel processing algorithms are applied in a wide variety of applications such as simulation, robot control, and image synthesis. This article presents two novel parallel algorithms for computing robot inverse dynamics (as well as control laws) starting from customized symbolic robot models. To gain the most benefit from the concurrent processor architecture, the whole job is divided into a large number of simple tasks, each involving only a single floating-point operation. Although requiring sophisticated scheduling schemes, fine granularity of tasks was the key factor for achieving nearly maximum efficiency and speedup. The first algorithm resolves the scheduling problem for an array of pipelined processors. The second one is devoted to parallel processors connected by a complete crossbar interconnection network. The main feature of the proposed algorithms is that they take into account the communication delays between processors and minimize both the execution time and communication cost. To prove the theoretical results, the algorithms have been verified by experiments on an INMOS T800 transputer-based system. We used four transputers in serial and parallel configurations. The experimental results show that the most complicated dynamic control laws can be executed in a submilisecond time interval.(Author abstract)
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