Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jacob Brock - PLDI Conclusion

I had a great time at the conference.  I caught the last day of PLDI on Wednesday, and then attended ISMM on Thursday and MSPC on Friday.  Here are a few of the presentations I found most interesting:

  • Quipper: A Scalable Quantum Programming Language (Green, et al.)
    • This work addresses the problem of forming a practical language for quantum computation, since the hardware interface is much different that in traditional computers.  After formulating the language, Green, et al. implement seven of the 45 quantum algorithms reported in S. Jordan's "Quantum Zoo".
  • Elephant Tracks: Portable Production of Complete and Precise GC Traces (Ricci, et al.)
    • Elephant Tracks produces traces of events related to garbage collection (such as object birth and death times) for Java programs.  It has already been a useful tool for Li, et al. of the University of Rochester (who presented at MSPC).
  • Introducing Kernel-Level Page Reuse for High Performance Computing (Valat, et al.)
    • Valat, et al. discovered that page zeroing is responsible for up to 40% of the page fault cost at operating system level.  To manage this cost, they proposed to use memory pools for each process so that free pages would be reused by the same process, allowing for less page zeroing.  For memory hungry parallel applications they managed to improve performance by up to 66%.
In addition, I had some good conversations that may help with my own research on cache sharing.  Elliot Moss recommended I look at his work on program profiling for GC to help me predict per-program cache usage, and Matt Davis shared some of his unpublished work and thoughts on cache optimization with me.

I am grateful for the opportunity to attend the conference!

Jake Brock

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