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Introduction to CAP : A language extension for the specification of pipelined parallel applications

Programming parallel shared- and distributed-memory architectures remains a difficult task. This contribution proposes a methodology for the hierarchical specification of pipelined parallel applications running on shared- as well as distributed-memory architecture. The methodology targets coarse to medium grain parallelism. The CAP methodology (Computer-Aided Parallelization) assumes that parallel hardware works as a factory producing cars. The important part of the analogy is the support for pipelining. Another important feature of the CAP methodology is its hierarchical and compositional nature. The methodology is supported by the CAP language extension to C++. The CAP extension translates to sequential C++ programs for application validation using conventional debuggers, to shared-memory parallel programs based on threads, and to distributed-memory parallel programs communicating using the PVM message-passing library. This contribution presents the CAP methodology, the CAP language extension, as well as an application of the CAP methodology to medical imaging. It also presents the current status of the CAP project.

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