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I just managed to get my multiple kernels up and humming on a new multi-core machine, which I am quite happy about.

I am slightly at a loss, though, about the meaning of the different parts of the Parallel Kernel Status monitoring screen, as the official documentation on it is quite sparse.

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This screen is accessible from the Evaluation menu. Clicking on Select Columns... goes some way into clarifying some of the more mysterious elements:

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In particular

  • CPU gives the CPU time used so far by that kernel, and
  • RAM gives the RAM it's currently using.
  • The dots change color from green to red when a kernel starts calculation and back to green when it finishes.

However, I have a few specific questions:

  • What does the Time column measure?
  • What does the Elapsed dialog measure?
  • What exactly is the speedup? What is it comparing with?
  • What are the green bars? Upon mouseover they grow tooltips with percentages with no indication of what they are. For the ones above I imagine the kernels are not really being used to their full potential; is that the case? (And, if so, is there a good resource for ideas on fixing that?)
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