One of the challenges for parallel compilers and compiler-related tools is, given a machine-independent parallel language, to generate executable code for a variety of computational models, and to identify those specific parallel modes for which a program is well-suited. One portion of this problem, developing a method for estimating the relative execution time of a data-parallel algorithm in an environment capable of the SIMD and SPMD (MIMD) modes of parallelism, is presented. Given a data-parallel program in a language whose syntax is mode-independent and empirical information about instruction execution time characteristics, the goal is to use static source-code analysis to determine an implementation that results in an optimal execution time for a mixed-mode machine capable of SIMD and SPMD parallelism. Statistical information about individual operation execution times and paths of execution through a parallel program is assumed. A secondary goal of this study is to indicate language, algorithm, and machine characteristics that must be researched to learn how to provide the information needed to obtain an optimal assignment of parallel modes to program segments. © 1994 Academic Press, Inc.