November 8, 2007: Seminar: John Reppy: "Parallel Concurrent ML"

Seminar Announcement

Parallel Concurrent ML

John Reppy
Department of Computer Science, University of Chicago
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
11:00 a.m., Room SEO 1000


Concurrent ML (CML) is a language embedded into Standard ML (SML) for programming concurrent systems. CML has mechanisms for explicit thread creation and message passing on typed channels. Since interactions between threads often involves multi-message protocols, CML provides event values, which are an abstraction mechanism for synchronous operations. This mechanism supports modular construction of concurrent systems. CML has a very efficient uniprocessor implementation built on top of SML of New Jersey's first-class continuations, but does not supported multiple processors.

In this talk, I'll first give an introduction to the design of CML and its uniprocessor implementation. Then I will discuss our efforts to implement CML on multiprocessors. The uniprocessor implementation of CML provides extremely lightweight concurrency and we wish to preserve that characteristic of the language in the multiprocessor setting. We have been exploring compilation techniques that can be used to improve the performance of CML programs. I will present an analysis algorithm we have developed that allows us to specialize message-passing primitives. Measurements on prototype implementation show that specialized primitives have significantly better performance than the generic ones.

Brief Bio:

John Reppy has been studying issues in language design and implementation for twenty years. His work includes the invention of Concurrent ML, co-inventor of the Moby programming language, major contributions to the Standard ML of New Jersey system, and co-editing of the Standard ML Basis Library specification. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1992 and worked at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill for eleven years. More recently, he has been on the faculty of the University of Chicago.

Host: Prasad Sistla

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