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    Parallel Programming in Dyalog using Futures and Isolates

    Morten Kromberg
    Morten Kromberg
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins

    Dyalog is an array first multi-paradigm language based on an APL language kernel. In APL, it is common for the application of primitive functions to arrays of conforming shape to imply a map; the function is applied item-wise to corresponding elements of the arguments, producing a result of the same shape. APL also provides a variety of explicit operators that provide different mappings of user-defined functions, or more generally functional compositions, to multi-dimensional and nested arrays.

    One might expect that such language features would provide a complete framework for parallel programming. In practice, writing programs that can be efficiently executed in parallel on current hardware is extremely difficult, if implicit or explicit maps are the only parallel language feature available and an interpreter or compiler needs to deduce where to introduce the asynchronicity that is required in order to take advantage of the hardware.

    This talk will present Futures and Isolates, and related parallel operators constructed upon them, which were added to Dyalog version 14.0 in 2014. The goal has been to provide explicit forms of deterministic asynchronous execution, designed to be very familiar to APL users, and continue to allow them to view the language as an executable mathematical notation, while taking advantage of parallel hardware that is now readily available.

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