As multiple processor systems become more widely accepted the importance of parallel programming increases. In this paper, approaches to the design and analysis of parallel algorithms are investigated. Through several examples, the importance of interprocessor communication in parallel processing is demonstrated. Various techniques that are applicable in the design and analysis of parallel algorithms are examined with emphasis on those techniques that incorporate communication aspects. The paper discusses several models of synchronous and asynchronous parallel computation and their use in analyzing algorithms. Relatively primitive methodologies for designing parallel algorithms are discussed and the need for more general and practical methodologies is indicated. Copyright © 1981 by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.