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Productive parallel programming with Unified Parallel C

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Programming for large-scale, multicore-based architectures requires adequate tools that offer ease of programming and do not hinder application performance. In the last years, the research community has initiated different efforts to create a suitable and robust programming model for such architectures. In this talk I will present the Unified Parallel C (UPC) language. UPC is a Partitioned Global Address Space (PGAS) language (other PGAS languages include Titanium and Co-Array Fortran). PGAS languages provide a shared-memory-like programming model, where the address space is partitioned and the programmer has control over the data layout. The programmer is able to exploit data locality to achieve performance. An advantage of the UPC language is that it extends an existing language (C) with constructs to express parallelism and data distribution, thus it is easier to learn than a completely new language. I will discuss the UPC strengths, weaknesses as well as our research work and achieved results.

bio: Dr. Montse Farreras received her PhD degree in computer science at UPC (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya) in 2008. She worked as an associate professor at the same University, and she joined to the Programming Models research line at BSC (Barcelona Supercomputing Center). In this research group she conducted research about Parallel Programming Models for High Performance Computing (HPC), focusing on productivity, performance and scalability. She has been collaborating with the Programming Models and Tools for Scalable Systems group at IBM TJ Watson Research Institute since 2004, working on a scalable Runtime System for the XLUPC compiler and she has participated in European projects (HPC-Europe2, PRACE ) exploring the usability of the UPC language. In 2012 she moved to the UK and she currently works at Numerical Algorithms Group (at Oxford) as part of the HPC team, giving support and training to HEC ToR users.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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