Beautiful Parallelism: Harnessing Multicores with Haskell

Don will be giving a talk SC’08 in Austin, Texas on Monday 17th November, as part of the Bridging Multicore’s Programmability Gap workshop (see the schedule here), talking about programming mainstream multicore systems with Haskell, now. Here’s the abstract,

Haskell is a general purpose, purely functional programming language. If you want to program a parallel machine, a purely functional language such as Haskell is a good choice: purity ensures the language is by-default safe for parallel execution, (whilst traditional imperative languages are by-default unsafe).This foundation has enabled Haskell to become something of a melting pot for high level approaches to concurrent and parallel programming, all available with an industrial strength compiler and language toolchain, available now for mainstream multicore programming.In this talk I will introduce the features Haskell provides for writing high level parallel and concurrent programs. In particular we’ll focus on lightweight semi-explicit parallelism using annotations to express parallelism opportunities. We’ll then describe mechanisms for explicitly parallel programs focusing on software transactional memory (STM) for shared memory communication. Finally, we’ll look at how Haskell’s nested data parallelism allows programmers to use rich data types in data parallel programs which are automatically transformed into flat data parallel versions for efficient execution on multi-core processors.

See Simon Peyton-Jones and Satnam Singh’s recent tutorial for more background on multicore Haskell, on which this talk is based.