Reevaluating Amdahl’s Law

The novel Nano-uncertainty asserts that Amdahl’s Law doesn’t apply to the massively parallel bot-swarms described in the story. This assertion is based on the author’s experience with a massively parallel Artificial Intelligence system where programs were decomposed into small fragments that were processed asynchronously. A paper by John L. Gustafson, based on experiments on a 1024 processor array, Reevaluating Amdahl’s Law, came to a similar conclusion.

Gustafson says the parallel speed-up “is not an insurmountable task.” That may be the thinking of geniuses like John Gustafson but for mere mortals, building a parallel program is extremely difficult and requires a high skill level. That is the essence of the technology envisioned in Nano-uncertainty.