This paper proposes an efficient parallel algorithm for an important class of dynamic programming problems that includes Viterbi, Needleman–Wunsch, Smith–Waterman, and Longest Common Subsequence. In dynamic programming, the subproblems that do not depend on each other, and thus can be computed in parallel, form stages, or wavefronts. The algorithm presented in this paper provides additional parallelism allowing multiple stages to be computed in parallel despite dependences among them. This paper demonstrates the efficiency of the parallel algorithm by showing significant speedups on a variety of important dynamic programming problems.
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The Dawn of Dynamic Programming Richard E. Bellman (1920–1984) is best known for the invention of dynamic programming in the 1950s. During his amazingly prolific career, based primarily at The University of Southern California, he published 39 books (several of which were reprinted by Dover, including Dynamic Programming, 42809-5, 2003) and 619 papers. Professor Bellman was awarded the IEEE Medal of Honor in 1979 "for contributions to decision processes and control system theory, particularly the creation and application of dynamic programming." The IEEE citation continued: "Richard Bellman is a towering figure among the contributors to modern control theory and systems analysis.
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