A framework for reasoning about inherent parallelism in modern object-oriented languages

A framework for reasoning about inherent parallelism in modern object-oriented languages

Andrew Craik

22 March 2011

With the emergence of multi-core processors into the mainstream, parallel programming is no longer the specialized domain it once was. There is a growing need for systems to allow programmers to more easily reason about data dependencies and inherent parallelism in general purpose programs. Many of these programs are written in popular imperative programming languages like Java and C]. In this thesis I present a system for reasoning about side-effects of evaluation in an abstract and composable manner that is suitable for use by both programmers and automated tools such as compilers. The goal of developing such a system is to both facilitate the automatic exploitation of the inherent parallelism present in imperative programs and to allow programmers to reason about dependencies which may be limiting the parallelism available for exploitation in their applications. Previous work on languages and type systems for parallel computing has tended to focus on providing the programmer with tools to facilitate the manual parallelization of programs; programmers must decide when and where it is safe to employ parallelism without the assistance of the compiler or other automated tools. None of the existing systems combine abstraction and composition with parallelization and correctness checking to produce a framework which helps both programmers and automated tools to reason about inherent parallelism. In this work I present a system for abstractly reasoning about side-effects and data dependencies in modern, imperative, object-oriented languages using a type and effect system based on ideas from Ownership Types. I have developed sufficient conditions for the safe, automated detection and exploitation of a number task, data and loop parallelism patterns in terms of ownership relationships. To validate my work, I have applied my ideas to the C# version 3.0 language to produce a language extension called Zal. I have implemented a compiler for the Zal language as an extension of the GPC# research compiler as a proof of concept of my system. I have used it to parallelize a number of real-world applications to demonstrate the feasibility of my proposed approach. In addition to this empirical validation, I present an argument for the correctness of the type system and language semantics I have proposed as well as sketches of proofs for the correctness of the sufficient conditions for parallelization proposed.

Venue : N/A

External Link: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/40877/