Understanding Amdahl’s law
No matter how much speedup you get for the parallel code, it is impossible to make a speedup of 2x if 75% of the algorithm cannot be parallelized. Suppose if you do the other 25% with 0 seconds that makes you gain up to 1.3x. For quantifying, if your algorithm takes 1 second and if 0.75 second of it is non-improvable, it doesn’t matter how much improvement you make for other 0.25 seconds, you cant get the total time scaled down to half.
Understanding Gustafson’s law
Rather than speedup Gustafson takes work into consideration. It states if your algorithm takes 1 second to complete and you have 0.75 second non-improvable part you can still get 2x speedup if you add a new feature which takes another 1 second in which 0.75 second is improvable. It means in the total 2 seconds, 1 second (0.75+0.25) of the code is non improvable and another half is improvable. Suppose you get infinite improvement which in terms reduces the time taken from 0.25+0.75 second to 0 second, total time of the algorithm goes down to 1 second. It means you got 2x speeds by adding more work.
Again did Herb fought the Amdahl’s law and won?
Negative. Herb didn’t even try to fight with the Amdahl’s law. Herb only proves it is better to take Gustafson’s law into consideration while deciding on going for parallelization or not. It is Amdahl’s law which must be taken in to consideration on calculating the amount of speedup that can be achieved by increasing number of cores. But the importance is you should not think negative due to the results of Amdahl’s law calculation. It is much more practical to understand your application will have more features added in future and those may be drastically improvable by executing tasks in parallel. It also means number of cores must be taken in to consideration rather then fixed size problems.
Break Amdahl’s law – It is a correct attitude. You must not get into a deadlock by finding the algorithm is not much improvable because of Amdahl’s law results.
“Herb fought the law—Amdahl's Law, that is—and Herb won-DDJ”- It is not a good title. If someone has ever tried to break the Amdahl’s law it is Gustafson. And even Gustafson named his paper “Reevaluating Amdahl's Law”