Parallel Data Compression with bzip2

J. Gilchrist (Canada)


Parallel Computing, Parallel Algorithms, Data Compres sion, Software Tools


A parallel implementation of the bzip2 block-sorting loss less compression program is described. The performance of the parallel implementation is compared to the sequen tial bzip2 program running on various shared memory par allel architectures. The parallel bzip2 algorithm works by taking the blocks of input data and running them through the Burrows-Wheeler Transform (BWT) simultaneously on multiple processors using pthreads. The output of the al gorithm is fully compatible with the sequential version of bzip2 which is in wide use today. The results show that a significant, near-linear speedup is achieved by using the parallel bzip2 program on systems with multiple processors. This will greatly reduce the time it takes to compress large amounts of data while remaining fully compatible with the sequential version of bzip2.

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