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Re: [Bug-apl] Proposal for initial multicore support

From: Juergen Sauermann
Subject: Re: [Bug-apl] Proposal for initial multicore support
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 12:44:38 +0100
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Hi David,

I think your ideas are correct. I have planned multicore support for GNU APL 1.4 and
every help is welcome.

Actually parallel processing was one of the main reasons for me to write GNU APL. I published a Ph.D thesis "A parallel APL computer" (in German) back in 1990. We had built a prototype based on multiple MC68020 processors and demonstrated that most APL primitive functions and operators can benefit from parallel execution. The only
thing missing at that time was the interpreter (which is now GNU APL).

My thoughts so far were going in the direction of OpenMP which uses a similar approach as the one you describe. But I haven't worked with it yet and there are other solutions around.

The most important step is to find the best approach for GNU APL. That probably means a lot
of benchmarking and experimenting.

In GNU APL every primitive function is a separate object so we can decide on a per-function
basis at what length we go multi-core.

/// Jürgen

On 03/10/2014 06:33 AM, David B. Lamkins wrote:
This weekend I spent a few hours poking around in the GNU APL source
code while thinking about what it might take to exploit a multicore CPU.
I've collected my thoughts on what it might take to do an initial
implementation (see attached).

Juergen (and anyone else who has worked in the code base), I'd
appreciate some feedback regarding the feasibility of my proposal, as
well as your comments about things I've overlooked.

This is something I'd be willing to work on in my spare time.

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