Conference paper

Language Virtualization for Heterogeneous Parallel Computing

As heterogeneous parallel systems become dominant, application developers are being forced to turn to an incompatible mix of low level programming models (e.g. OpenMP, MPI, CUDA, OpenCL). However, these models do little to shield developers from the difficult problems of parallelization, data decomposition and machine-specific details. Most programmers are having a difficult time using these programming models effectively. To provide a programming model that addresses the productivity and performance requirements for the average programmer, we explore a domain-specific approach to heterogeneous parallel programming. We propose language virtualization as a new principle that enables the construction of highly efficient parallel domain specific languages that are embedded in a common host language. We define criteria for language virtualization and present techniques to achieve them. We present two concrete case studies of domain-specific languages that are implemented using our virtualization approach.

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