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A Determinizing Compiler

Vasudevan, Nalini; Edwards, Stephen A.

The advent of multicores mandates parallel programming. While parallelism presents a panoply of problems, few are as pernicious and prevalent as nondeterminism, in which the output of a program is affected by more than just its inputs, e.g., uncontrollable scheduling choices made by the operating system. A few parallel languages do guarantee determinism, but do so through draconian restrictions. It is time for a new era of bug-free parallel programming that will enable programmers to shift easily from sequential to parallel worlds.We propose a determinizing compiler: starting from a non-deterministic program, our compiler inserts just enough additional synchronization to guarantee deterministic behavior, even in the presence of nondeterministic scheduling choices. A brute-force solution would simply generate sequential code, but our compiler will strive to preserve parallelism to impose a minimal loss of performance.

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Computer Science
Published Here
August 23, 2011

Notes

ACM SIGPLAN 2009 Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, Dublin, Ireland, June 15-20, 2009: Fun Ideas and Thoughts Session

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