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TAM— A Compiler Controlled Threaded Abstract Machine

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journal contribution
posted on 30.06.2014, 00:00 by David E. Culler, Seth C. Goldstein, Klaus Erik Schauser, Thorsten von Eicken
The Threaded Abstract Machine (TAM) refines dataflow execution models to address the critical constraints that modern parallel architectures place on the compilation of general-purpose parallel programming languages. TAM defines a self-scheduled machine language of parallel threads, which provides a path from data-flow-graph program representations to conventional control flow. The most important feature of TAM is the way it exposes the interaction between the handling of asynchronous message events, the scheduling of computation, and the utilization of the storage hierarchy. This paper provides a complete description of TAM and codifies the model in terms of a pseudo machine language TL0. Issues in compilation from a high level parallel language to TL0 are discussed in general and specifically in regard to the Id90 language. The implementation of TL0 on the CM-5 multiprocessor is explained in detail. Using this implementation, a cost model is developed for the various TAM primitives. The TAM approach is evaluated on sizable Id90 programs on a 64 processor system. The scheduling hierarchy of quanta and threads is shown to provide substantial locality while tolerating long latencies. This allows the average thread scheduling cost to be extremely low.




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