David I. August
Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Princeton University
Affiliated with the Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University
Ph.D. May 2000, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Office: Computer Science Building Room 221
Email: august@princeton.edu
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Fax: (609) 964-1699
Administrative Assistant: Pamela DelOrefice, (609) 258-5551

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A Generalized Framework for Automatic Scripting Language Parallelization [abstract] (PDF)
Taewook Oh, Stephen R. Beard, Nick P. Johnson, Sergiy Popovych, and David I. August
Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques (PACT), September 2017.
Accept Rate: 23% (25/108).

Computational scientists are typically not expert programmers, and thus work in easy to use dynamic languages. However, they have very high performance requirements, due to their large datasets and experimental setups. Thus, the performance required for computational science must be extracted from dynamic languages in a manner that is transparent to the programmer. Current approaches to optimize and parallelize dynamic languages, such as just-in-time compilation and highly optimized interpreters, require a huge amount of implementation effort and are typically only effective for a single language. However, scientists in different fields use different languages, depending upon their needs. This paper presents techniques to enable automatic extraction of parallelism within scripts that are universally applicable across multiple different dynamic scripting languages. The key insight is that combining a script with its interpreter, through program specialization techniques, will embed any parallelism within the script into the combined program. Additionally, this paper presents several enhancements to existing speculative automatic parallelization techniques to handle the dependence patterns created by the specialization process. A prototype of the proposed technique, called Partial Evaluation with Parallelization (PEP), is evaluated against two open-source script interpreters with 6 input scripts each. The resulting geomean speedup of 5.1x on a 24-core machine shows the potential of the generalized approach in automatic extraction of parallelism in dynamic scripting languages.