The programming methodology of PARSE (parallel software environment), a software environment being developed for reconfigurable non-shared memory parallel computers, is described. This environment will consist of an integrated collection of language interfaces, automatic and semi-automatic debugging and analysis tools, and operating system —all of which are made more flexible by the use of a knowledge-based implementation for the tools that make up PARSE. The programming paradigm supports the user freely choosing among three basic approaches /abstractions for programming a parallel machine: logic-based descriptive, sequential-control procedural, and parallel-control procedural programming. All of these result in efficient parallel execution. The current work discusses the methodology underlying PARSE, whereas the companion paper, “The PARSE Programming Paradigm — II: Software Development Support Tools,” details each of the component tools.
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