The aim of this thesis is to study and develop efficient methods for parallelization of scientific applications on parallel computers with distributed memory. The first part presents two libraries of PVM (Parallel Virtual Machine) and MPI (Message Passing Interface) communication tools. They allow implementation of programs on most parallel machines, but also on heterogeneous computer networks. This chapter illustrates the problems faced when trying to evaluate performances of networks with heterogeneous processors. To evaluate such performances, the concepts of speed-up and efficiency have been modified and adapted to account for heterogeneity. The second part deals with a study of parallel application libraries such as ScaLAPACK and with the development of communication masking techniques. The general concept is based on communication anticipation, in particular by pipelining message sending operations. Experimental results on Cray T3D and IBM SP1 machines validates the theoretical studies performed on basic algorithms of the libraries discussed above. Two examples of scientific applications are given: the first is a model of young stars for astrophysics and the other is a model of photon trajectories in the Compton effect. (J.S.). 83 refs., 65 figs., 24 tabs.