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Title:THAL: An Actor System for Efficient and Scalable Concurrent Computing
Author(s):Kim, Wooyoung
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Agha, Gul A.
Department / Program:Computer Science
Discipline:Computer Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Computer Science
Abstract:This thesis studies how to support communication between actors efficiently. First, we discuss communication patterns commonly arising in many parallel applications in the context of an experimental actor-based language, THAL. The language provides as communication abstractions concurrent call/return communication, delegation, broadcast, and local synchronizaton constraints. The thesis shows how the abstractions are efficiently implemented on stock-hardware distributed memory multicomputers. Specifically, we describe an experimental runtime system and compiler. The THAL runtime system recognizes and exploits the cost difference between local and remote message scheduling; it transparently supports actor's location independence; and, it implements non-blocking remote actor creation to improve utilization of computation resources. The THAL compiler incorporates a number of analysis and transformation techniques which work hand in hand with the runtime system. Among the techniques are: global data flow analysis to infer type information--the compiler optimizes code for each message send according to the type of its receiver expression; concurrency restoration through dependence analysis and source-to-source transformation; concurrency control with dependence analysis which allows multiple threads to be active on an actor with thread safety, i.e., with no interference between the threads. Experiments on a stock-hardware distributed memory multicomputer (CM-5) show that the compiler and the run-time system yield efficiency and scalability on applications with sufficiently large granularity which are comparable to the performance of other less flexible systems.
Issue Date:1997
Description:117 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9737161
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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