Data Parallel Haskell: a status report

Data Parallel Haskell: a status report. Manuel M. T. Chakravarty, Roman Leshchinskiy, Simon Peyton Jones, Gabriele Keller, and Simon Marlow.

We describe the design and current status of our effort to implement the programming model of nested data parallelism into the Glasgow Haskell Compiler. We extended the programming model and its implementation, both of which were first popularised by the NESL language, in terms of expressiveness as well as efficiency of its implementation. Our current aim is to provide a convenient programming environment for SMP parallelism, and especially multicore architectures. Preliminary benchmarks show that we are, at least for some programs, able to achieve good absolute performance and excellent speedups.

NESL was mentioned here in the past a few times, as was data parallelism in general.

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Promising work

I just want to say that I think this paper is really interesting from a historical point of view. Using functional languages to program for parallel machines was a hot topic in during the late 80's. A lot of functional programming people have been dreaming of (and done research on) generating really efficient parallel code from functional programs. This line of research has never really taken off though, despite having been a really hot topic. I think the line of research presented in this paper might actually pull off what all those fp people have been dreaming about for all those years.

Peyton-Jones recently posted

Peyton-Jones recently posted some slides for an upcoming talk giving a high-level overview of the project.