[CfPart] BoF: Non-deterministic Programming for Manycore Systems at SPLASH'10

Stefan Marr erlang@REDACTED
Tue Oct 12 00:59:30 CEST 2010

                           Call for Participation

             Non-deterministic Programming for Manycore Systems

                             Birds of a Feather
                    Tuesday, October 19, starting 5:30pm
                          Reno/Tahoe, Nevada, 2010.
                         Co-located with SPLASH 2010


    Non-deterministic Programming: A Solution for the Manycore Challenge?
            Informal Workshop on the Opportunities of Embracing
                Non-determinism in a Highly Parallel World


This BoF is meant to bring together people who are interested in solving the
challenges that the fine-grained parallelism of manycore and exascale systems

Today, non-determinism is usually considered a problem researchers have to
solve when they confronted with parallel programming. However,
non-deterministic programming and its potential has been the subject of
research for decades past. With the increasing and unavoidable degree of
parallelism, it may be the time to discuss it from a new perspective. Thus,
the main question of the workshop is, what if the downsides of non-determinism
are outweighed by its benefits?

We like to discuss the question of how a programming model for
non-deterministic parallel programming could be designed. Thus, we want to
think about what challenges need to be overcome and what research questions
need to be formulated. Of interest are also which classic problems, for
instance sorting, could be solved in a non-deterministic manner, and what kind
of computational problems could benefit from speedups provided by additional
parallelism even when trading off precision for speed.


This Birds of a Feather is supposed to propose and discus new ideas, without
any restriction of the creativity of its attendees. Every attendee is welcome
to give a brief presentation, show a demo, or just engage into a discussion
with the audience.

Renaissance Project

This BoF will also be used as a venue to present the Renaissance Virtual
Machine (RVM) of IBM Research[3]. On this occasion, the RVM will be
opensourced and attendees will have the opportunity to get introduced to the
technical details of it. The RVM is meant to provide a common foundation for
research regarding non-deterministic parallel programming for manycore
systems. It is a Squeak/Pharo compatible Smalltalk VM supporting a classic
shared-memory programming model. Thus, the programmer has the illusion of a
single object heap on which Smalltalk Processes can work in parallel.

On top of the RVM, Ly was developed to embrace non-determinism and to harness

The first results will be reported in an Onward! presentation on Thursday
afternoon [1]:

  Harnessing Emergence for Manycore Programming: Early Experience
  Integrating Ensembles, Adverbs, and Object-based Inheritance
  by David Ungar, Sam S. Adams

Confirmed Participants

 David Ungar, Doug Kimelman, IBM Research
   Brief introduction into the Renaissance project and demo of the current
   status of their Ly/Sly language and manycore virtual machine.

 Max OrHai, Andrew Black, Portland State University
   Giving an overview of an example application to test the Renaissance
   ensemble code as well as an outlook to a scalable non-deterministic
   parallel sorting algorithm.
 Theo D'Hondt, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
   Lessons from the past: Recapitulating the relations of non-deterministic 
   programming, AI, and highly parallel systems like Connection Machine.


Theo D'Hondt, Software Languages Lab, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Stefan Marr,  Software Languages Lab, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

[1] http://splashcon.org/program/onward-short-papers/154-onward-short-papers-b
[2] http://splashcon.org/schedule/tuesday-oct-19-/235
[3] https://researcher.ibm.com/researcher/view_project.php?id=245

Stefan Marr
Software Languages Lab
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2 / B-1050 Brussels / Belgium
Phone: +32 2 629 2974
Fax:   +32 2 629 3525

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