Accelerating Information Experts through Compiler Design
Dyalog APL is a tool of thought for information experts, enabling rapid development of domain-centric software without the costly software engineering feedback loop often required. The Dyalog APL interpreter introduces performance constraints that hinder the analysis of large data sets, especially on highly-parallel computing architectures. The Co-dfns compiler project aims to reduce the overheads involved in creating high-performance code in APL. It focuses on integrating with the APL environment and compiles a familiar subset of the language, delivering significant performance and platform independence to information experts without requiring code rewrites and conversion into other languages.
The design of the Co-dfns compiler, itself an APL program, possesses a unique architecture that permits implementation without branching, recursion, or other complex forms of control flow. By integrating specific optimizations, the generated code competes with hand-written C code in the domain of financial simulations, exceeding it when integrated into the environment. Preliminary results demonstrate platform independence performance across CPUs and GPUs without modification of the source. Work continues to improve performance both of the architecture and the generated code. Eventually, the project hopes to convincingly demonstrate a wider range of techniques that extend the suitable domain for effective array programming.
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