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Commutative Set: A Language Extension for Implicit Parallel Programming [abstract] (ACM DL, PDF)
Prakash Prabhu, Soumyadeep Ghosh, Yun Zhang, Nick P. Johnson, and David I. August
Proceedings of the 32nd ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI), June 2011.

Sequential programming models express a total program order, of which a partial order must be respected. This inhibits parallelizing tools from extracting scalable performance. Programmer written semantic commutativity assertions provide a natural way of relaxing this partial order, thereby exposing parallelism implicitly in a program. Existing implicit parallel programming models based on semantic commutativity either require additional programming extensions, or have limited expressiveness. This paper presents a generalized semantic commutativity based programming extension, called Commutative Set (CommSet), and associated compiler technology that enables multiple forms of parallelism. CommSet expressions are syntactically succinct and enable the programmer to specify commutativity relations between groups of arbitrary structured code blocks. Using only this construct, serializing constraints that inhibit parallelization can be relaxed, independent of any particular parallelization strategy or concurrency control mechanism. CommSet enables well performing parallelizations in cases where they were inapplicable or non-performing before. By extending eight sequential programs with only 8 annotations per program on average, CommSet and the associated compiler technology produced a geomean speedup of 5.7x on eight cores compared to 1.5x for the best non-\commset parallelization.