Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cebit 2015: Computer scientists from Saarland University simplify parallel programming

12.03.2015

Modern software takes computational speed for granted. But modern microprocessors can only speed up by increasing the number of cores. To take full advantage of multiple cores, software developers have to arrange their code in such a way that it is executable in parallel – an error-prone and expensive task. Computer scientists from Saarland University have developed a tool that parallelizes the necessary code sections automatically, and also gives developers programming advice. In the long term, they are planning to extend their “Sambamba” system to automatically parallelize any given program (Hall 9, Booth E13).

“Multicore architectures are becoming more and more important, even in netbooks and mobile phones,” says Andreas Zeller. “While devices are shrinking, they are also optimized to use as little energy as possible, which makes multicore ever more necessary.”


Simplifying parallel programming (from left to right): Professor Sebastian Hack, Kevin Streit, Clemens Hammacher and Professor Andreas Zeller.

Credit: Oliver Dietze

Zeller, professor for software engineering at Saarland University, developed the tool together with his doctoral students, Kevin Streit and Clemens Hammacher. Their system, called “Sambamba”, automatically converts conventionally programmed code into code that is executable in parallel.

“The aim is to find several parallelization options for every individual function in the examined application, and then select the best one during runtime,” says Sebastian Hack, professor of programming at Saarland University. He and his doctoral student Johannes Doerfert also took part in the Sambamba project.

Computer scientists describe runtime as the time that elapses between initialization and completion of a program. To identify sections where parallelization is possible and to exclude others, Sambamba analyzes the code even before it is executed. But with these preliminary analyses, it is hard to find parallelization options that are input-dependent and therefore appear just occasionally.

“That’s why Sambamba consists of two modules: a comprehensive program analysis tool that examines the code for its parallelization potential before runtime, and a second module that can then utilize these results and optimize the code with additional information obtained at runtime.” Sebastian Hack explains.

In this way, the computer scientists of Saarland University elegantly avoided some of the problems that researchers so far have not been able to solve: While different methods usually work fine for particular forms of parallelization, none of these procedures fits all.

“Even if we were to construct a kind of translator application that has mastered every single technique ever devised and tested, we would still be lacking the type of cost model that can determine the best method in each case automatically,” Hack continues. With their integrative technique, they therefore try to gather as much information as possible in advance, and then collect additional information during the runtime of the program. This way, additional parallelization opportunities can be exposed and the program can “learn” which parallelization method works best.

Sambamba works well for programs written in languages that are widespread in practice but hard to analyze, like C++. But the more complex a program is, the more important the analysis at runtime becomes, independent of the language. “Sambamba can parallelize code entirely automatically. But in some cases, developers might want to verify different options, or choose one themselves. So our system can also communicate with the user and make suggestions on how to parallelize the code,” Zeller explains. At the upcoming CeBIT computer fair, the researchers will be presenting the programming environment they designed around Sambamba, in which developers can additionally get direct support on parallelization issues.

Computer science and informatics at Saarland University
The Department of Computer Science forms the core of the informatics landscape at Saarland University. A further seven internationally renowned research institutes are located in the immediate vicinity on campus. As well as the two Max Planck Institutes for Informatics and for Software Systems, the Saarbrücken campus is also home to the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, the Intel Visual Computing Institute, the Center for IT Security, Privacy and Accountability (CISPA) and the Cluster of Excellence ‘Multimodal Computing and Interaction’.

A short video is available here: http://www.sambamba.org/

Media Inquiries:
Professor Andreas Zeller
Computer Science Department, Saarland University
Email: zeller(at)cs.uni-saarland.de
Phone: +49 681 302-70791

Professor Sebastian Hack
Computer Science Department, Saarland University
Email: hack(at)cs.uni-saarland.de
Phone: +49 681 302-71

Editor:
Gordon Bolduan
Science Communication
Competence Center Computer Science Saarland
Phone: +49 681 302-70741
Email: bolduan(at)mmci.uni-saarland.de

Note for radio journalists: Phone interviews with Saarland University scientists can be conducted in studio quality using the Radio Codec (via direct-dial IP connection, or the ARD Sternpunkt 106813020001). Interview requests can be made via our press department (+49 681 302-2601).

Melanie Löw | Universität des Saarlandes
Further information:
http://www.uni-saarland.de

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation
22.05.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

nachricht “Electricity as a raw material” at ACHEMA 2018: Green energy for sustainable chemistry
16.05.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Umwelt-, Sicherheits- und Energietechnik UMSICHT

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>