[squeak-dev] parallelism models (was: Selectors with underscores)

Igor Stasenko siguctua at gmail.com
Wed Mar 17 00:23:01 UTC 2010

Main question: garbage collection.
How each of the possible models approaching this, quite complex problem.

On 16 March 2010 22:11, Jecel Assumpcao Jr <jecel at merlintec.com> wrote:
> Sam Adams wrote on Fri, 12 Mar 2010 11:02:53 -0500
> [I'm still trying to catch up]
>> The Renaissance project is going on nicely.  Dave Ungar and I
>> have VMs for both Tilera Tile64 and Intel Multicore (thanks to
>> our collaborator Stefan Marr of Vrije Univ).  We have also
>> defined an experimental language for using our new massively
>> parallel programming model concepts.  Its a variant of
>> Javascript/Self, and we have a fledgling IDE developed for
>> it in Squeak.  More details soon as we are hoping to open source
>> the effort.
> I am really looking forward to seeing that!
> On the same subject, I have a three level plan for parallelism within
> Squeak. One requirement is that the result should be simple enough that
> I can explain it to a bright child. This rules out some very elegant
> solutions that require thinking in ways that most people find hard to
> learn.
> === Level 1 - Islands and promises, TeaTime
> Though the "wait by necessity" model using future object (promises) from
> parallel Eiffel has worked out very well for me so far, giving each
> object its own thread has had advantages and problems.
> http://www.merlintec.com/lsi/selfdiff.html#process
> http://www.merlintec.com/lsi/tiny.html#rel1
> The main issue is that any recursion, direct or indirect, will cause
> deadlock with this model. The hack I used to fix this for tinySelf 1
> wasn't very nice. The Eiffel solution was to only allow certain objects,
> called actors, to have their own thread. You have to take care that
> other objects, the passive ones, are only ever referenced by a single
> actor. That makes it hard to program since it is so each to let
> references to passive objects "leak" through arguments or return values.
> By grouping objects into islands this worry goes away since all objects
> are now equal.
> One possible island model is to allow objects to migrate between them,
> but I prefer to have the partition be permanent. In fact, I feel that
> you should only be able to create a new object in your own island or as
> the very first object in a completely new island. You wouldn't be able
> to directly create objects in any other existing island (which seems
> horrible in terms of security) but you could send a message to an object
> in the other island and ask it to create an object there for you (if it
> wants to). We could have #newHere and #newRemote with each class
> implementing #new in terms of the most appropriate one (user code can
> use the explicit selectors to override the class default).
> You should be able to have replicas of a single island on different
> machines, and TeaTime could be used to keep them in sync. An alternative
> for replication is read-only islands. This would be a dynamic property
> (just like in the work that Sam and Dave have done on the Tilera).
> http://www.opencroquet.org/images/0/0d/2005_Teatime_Framework_Design.pdf
> === Level 2 - Concurrent Aggregates, APL/FScript
> Versions of the Collection objects can be built on top of Level 1 such
> that they appear to exist on multiple islands at the same time. So a
> 1000 element ConcurrentArray can have 100 elements each on 10 islands
> and it will seem like a local object on each of those. Using the normal
> APL or FScript style methods (#collect:, #detect:, etc) instead of the
> lower level looping ones, you will get a significant performance boost.
>> http://www-csag.ucsd.edu/teaching/cse291s03/Lectures/Concurrent%20Aggregates%20(CA).ppt
> === Level 3 - Linda, Agora, Announcements, Subscribe and Publish,
> Kedama, FScript
> Something like a Linda TupleSpace can be implemented using
> ConcurrentAggregates. If we limit tuples to the form
> ("selector",?arg1,?arg2) then we will have normal Smalltalk messages
> with an unspecified receiver. Though extremely limited compared to the
> general Linda scheme, this would be enough for nearly all applications
> in practice.
> This one-to-many communication system would implement most of the
> FScript funcionality not in Level 2 and could trivially host something
> very similar to Kedama. If some meta information is added to the
> messages going through these "agoras", this would also double as an
> implementation of Annoucements. While in Linda a thread can only wait
> for one kind of tuple at a time, it would be nice for an island to be
> able to define a set of messages it would like to receive (so we would
> have the equivalent of ALT in Occam).
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuple_space
> http://www.fscript.org/
>> http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/userblogs/vbykov/blogView?showComments=true&entry=3310034894
> -- Jecel

Best regards,
Igor Stasenko AKA sig.

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